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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 915-933, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3933.1.
    Description: The temporal response of the length of a partially mixed estuary to changes in freshwater discharge Qf and tidal amplitude UT is studied using a 108-day time series collected along the length of the Hudson River estuary in the spring and summer of 2004 and a long-term (13.4 yr) record of Qf, UT, and near-surface salinity. When Qf was moderately high, the tidally averaged length of the estuary L5, here defined as the distance from the mouth to the up-estuary location where the vertically averaged salinity is 5 psu, fluctuated by more than 47 km over the spring–neap cycle, ranging from 28 to 〉75 km. During low flow periods, L5 varied very little over the spring–neap cycle and approached a steady length. The response is quantified and compared to predictions of a linearized model derived from the global estuarine salt balance. The model is forced by fluctuations in Qf and UT relative to average discharge Qo and tidal amplitude UTo and predicts the linear response time scale τ and the steady-state length Lo for average forcing. Two vertical mixing schemes are considered, in which 1) mixing is proportional to UT and 2) dependence of mixing on stratification is also parameterized. Based on least squares fits between L5 and estuary length predicted by the model, estimated τ varied by an order of magnitude from a period of high average discharge (Qo = 750 m3 s−1, τ = 4.2 days) to a period of low discharge (Qo = 170 m3 s−1, τ = 40.4 days). Over the range of observed discharge, Lo Qo−0.30±0.03, consistent with the theoretical scaling for an estuary whose landward salt flux is driven by vertical estuarine exchange circulation. Estimated τ was proportional to the discharge advection time scale (LoA/Qo, where A is the cross-sectional area of the estuary). However, τ was 3–4 times larger than the theoretical prediction. The model with stratification-dependent mixing predicted variations in L5 with higher skill than the model with mixing proportional to UT. This model provides insight into the time-dependent response of a partially stratified estuary to changes in forcing and explains the strong dependence of the amplitude of the spring–neap response on freshwater discharge. However, the utility of the linear model is limited because it assumes a uniform channel, and because the underlying dynamics are nonlinear, and the forcing Qf and UT can undergo large amplitude variations. River discharge, in particular, can vary by over an order of magnitude over time scales comparable to or shorter than the response time scale of the estuary.
    Description: This study was generously funded by Hudson River Foundation Grant 005/03A and NSF Grant OCE-0452054. Lerczak also received partial support from the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health, NSF Grant OCE-0430724 and NIEHS Grant 1-P50-ES012742-01.
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Rivers ; Tides ; Stability ; Vertical motion
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-12-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 37 (2007): 1859-1877, doi:10.1175/jpo3088.1.
    Description: A series of dye releases in the Hudson River estuary elucidated diapycnal mixing rates and temporal variability over tidal and fortnightly time scales. Dye was injected in the bottom boundary layer for each of four releases during different phases of the tide and of the spring–neap cycle. Diapycnal mixing occurs primarily through entrainment that is driven by shear production in the bottom boundary layer. On flood the dye extended vertically through the bottom mixed layer, and its concentration decreased abruptly near the base of the pycnocline, usually at a height corresponding to a velocity maximum. Boundary layer growth is consistent with a one-dimensional, stress-driven entrainment model. A model was developed for the vertical structure of the vertical eddy viscosity in the flood tide boundary layer that is proportional to u2*/N∞, where u* and N∞ are the bottom friction velocity and buoyancy frequency above the boundary layer. The model also predicts that the buoyancy flux averaged over the bottom boundary layer is equal to 0.06N∞u2* or, based on the structure of the boundary layer equal to 0.1NBLu2*, where NBL is the buoyancy frequency across the flood-tide boundary layer. Estimates of shear production and buoyancy flux indicate that the flux Richardson number in the flood-tide boundary layer is 0.1–0.18, consistent with the model indicating that the flux Richardson number is between 0.1 and 0.14. During ebb, the boundary layer was more stratified, and its vertical extent was not as sharply delineated as in the flood. During neap tide the rate of mixing during ebb was significantly weaker than on flood, owing to reduced bottom stress and stabilization by stratification. As tidal amplitude increased ebb mixing increased and more closely resembled the boundary layer entrainment process observed during the flood. Tidal straining modestly increased the entrainment rate during the flood, and it restratified the boundary layer and inhibited mixing during the ebb.
    Description: The work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE00-95972 (W. Geyer, J. Lerczak), OCE00-99310 (R. Houghton), and OCE00-95913 (R. Chant, E. Hunter).
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Boundary layer ; Mixing ; Tides ; Friction
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 36 (2006): 2296-2311, doi:10.1175/JPO2959.1.
    Description: The subtidal salt balance and the mechanisms driving the downgradient salt flux in the Hudson River estuary are investigated using measurements from a cross-channel mooring array of current meters, temperature and conductivity sensors, and cross-channel and along-estuary shipboard surveys obtained during the spring of 2002. Steady (subtidal) vertical shear dispersion, resulting from the estuarine exchange flow, was the dominant mechanism driving the downgradient salt flux, and varied by over an order of magnitude over the spring–neap cycle, with maximum values during neap tides and minimum values during spring tides. Corresponding longitudinal dispersion rates were as big as 2500 m2 s−1 during neap tides. The salinity intrusion was not in a steady balance during the study period. During spring tides, the oceanward advective salt flux resulting from the net outflow balanced the time rate of change of salt content landward of the study site, and salt was flushed out of the estuary. During neap tides, the landward steady shear dispersion salt flux exceeded the oceanward advective salt flux, and salt entered the estuary. Factor-of-4 variations in the salt content occurred at the spring–neap time scale and at the time scale of variations in the net outflow. On average, the salt flux resulting from tidal correlations between currents and salinity (tidal oscillatory salt flux) was an order of magnitude smaller than that resulting from steady shear dispersion. During neap tides, this flux was minimal (or slightly countergradient) and was due to correlations between tidal currents and vertical excursions of the halocline. During spring tides, the tidal oscillatory salt flux was driven primarily by oscillatory shear dispersion, with an associated longitudinal dispersion rate of about 130 m2 s−1.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant OCE00-95972 and Hudson River Foundation Grant 005/03A. Author Lerczak received partial support from the Penzance Endowed Fund in Support of Assistant Scientists.
    Keywords: Ice shelves ; Dynamics ; Antarctica
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 855–868, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-10-05010.1.
    Description: Data from the Hudson River estuary demonstrate that the tidal variations in vertical salinity stratification are not consistent with the patterns associated with along-channel tidal straining. These observations result from three additional processes not accounted for in the traditional tidal straining model: 1) along-channel and 2) lateral advection of horizontal gradients in the vertical salinity gradient and 3) tidal asymmetries in the strength of vertical mixing. As a result, cross-sectionally averaged values of the vertical salinity gradient are shown to increase during the flood tide and decrease during the ebb. Only over a limited portion of the cross section does the observed stratification increase during the ebb and decrease during the flood. These observations highlight the three-dimensional nature of estuarine flows and demonstrate that lateral circulation provides an alternate mechanism that allows for the exchange of materials between surface and bottom waters, even when direct turbulent mixing through the pycnocline is prohibited by strong stratification.
    Description: The funding for this research was obtained from NSF Grant OCE-08-25226.
    Description: 2012-11-01
    Keywords: Mixing ; Ocean circulation ; Shear structure/flows ; Transport ; Turbulence
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-05-01
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 45 (2015): 2773–2789, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0031.1.
    Description: Tidal oscillatory salt transport, induced by the correlation between tidal variations in salinity and velocity, is an important term for the subtidal salt balance under the commonly used Eulerian method of salt transport decomposition. In this paper, its mechanisms in a partially stratified estuary are investigated with a numerical model of the Hudson estuary. During neap tides, when the estuary is strongly stratified, the tidal oscillatory salt transport is mainly due to the hydraulic response of the halocline to the longitudinal variation of topography. This mechanism does not involve vertical mixing, so it should not be regarded as oscillatory shear dispersion, but instead it should be regarded as advective transport of salt, which results from the vertical distortion of exchange flow obtained in the Eulerian decomposition by vertical fluctuations of the halocline. During spring tides, the estuary is weakly stratified, and vertical mixing plays a significant role in the tidal variation of salinity. In the spring tide regime, the tidal oscillatory salt transport is mainly due to oscillatory shear dispersion. In addition, the transient lateral circulation near large channel curvature causes the transverse tilt of the halocline. This mechanism has little effect on the cross-sectionally integrated tidal oscillatory salt transport, but it results in an apparent left–right cross-channel asymmetry of tidal oscillatory salt transport. With the isohaline framework, tidal oscillatory salt transport can be regarded as a part of the net estuarine salt transport, and the Lagrangian advective mechanism and dispersive mechanism can be distinguished.
    Description: Tao Wang was supported by the Open Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (Grant SKLEC-KF201509) and Chinese Scholarship Council. Geyer was supported by by NSF Grant OCE 0926427. Wensheng Jiang was supported by NSFC-Shandong Joint Fund for Marine Science Research Centers (Grant U1406401).
    Description: 2016-05-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Estuaries ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Baroclinic flows ; Dispersion ; Shear structure/flows ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Diapycnal mixing ; Models and modeling ; Regional models
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 418-434, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3372.1.
    Description: Stratification and turbulent mixing exhibit a flood–ebb tidal asymmetry in estuaries and continental shelf regions affected by horizontal density gradients. The authors use a large-eddy simulation (LES) model to investigate the penetration of a tidally driven bottom boundary layer into stratified water in the presence of a horizontal density gradient. Turbulence in the bottom boundary layer is driven by bottom stress during flood tides, with low-gradient (Ri) and flux (Rf) Richardson numbers, but by localized shear during ebb tides, with Ri = ¼ and Rf = 0.2 in the upper half of the boundary layer. If the water column is unstratified initially, the LES model reproduces periodic stratification associated with tidal straining. The model results show that the energetics criterion based on the competition between tidal straining and tidal stirring provides a good prediction for the onset of periodic stratification, but the tidally averaged horizontal Richardson number Rix has a threshold value of about 0.2, which is lower than the 3 suggested in a recent study. Although the tidal straining leads to negative buoyancy flux on flood tides, the authors find that for typical values of the horizontal density gradient and tidal currents in estuaries and shelf regions, buoyancy production is much smaller than shear production in generating turbulent kinetic energy.
    Description: This work is supported by Grants OCE-0451699 and OCE-0451740 from the National Science Foundation.
    Keywords: Tides ; Mixing ; Large eddy simulations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 107-124, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3952.1.
    Description: In most estuarine systems it is assumed that the dominant along-channel momentum balance is between the integrated pressure gradient and bed stress. Scaling the amplitude of the estuarine circulation based on this balance has been shown to have predictive skill. However, a number of authors recently highlighted important nonlinear processes that contribute to the subtidal dynamics at leading order. In this study, a previously validated numerical model of the Hudson River estuary is used to examine the forces driving the residual estuarine circulation and to test the predictive skill of two linear scaling relationships. Results demonstrate that the nonlinear advective acceleration terms contribute to the subtidal along-channel momentum balance at leading order. The contribution of these nonlinear terms is driven largely by secondary lateral flows. Under a range of forcing conditions in the model runs, the advective acceleration terms nearly always act in concert with the baroclinic pressure gradient, reinforcing the residual circulation. Despite the strong contribution of the nonlinear advective terms to the subtidal dynamical balance, a linear scaling accurately predicts the strength of the observed residual circulation in the model. However, this result is largely fortuitous, as this scaling does not account for two processes that are fundamental to the estuarine circulation. The skill of this scaling results because of the compensatory relationship between the contribution of the advective acceleration terms and the suppression of turbulence due to density stratification. Both of these processes, neither of which is accounted for in the linear scaling, increase the residual estuarine circulation but have an opposite dependence on tidal amplitude and, consequently, strength of stratification.
    Description: This research was supported by the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries—Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral fellowship program, as well as NSF Grants OCE-0452054 and OCE-0451740.
    Keywords: Advection ; Estuarine circulation ; Friction ; Density currents ; Baroclinic flows
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-06-02
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 46 (2016): 1769-1783, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0193.1.
    Description: High-resolution observations of velocity, salinity, and turbulence quantities were collected in a salt wedge estuary to quantify the efficiency of stratified mixing in a high-energy environment. During the ebb tide, a midwater column layer of strong shear and stratification developed, exhibiting near-critical gradient Richardson numbers and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) dissipation rates greater than 10−4 m2 s−3, based on inertial subrange spectra. Collocated estimates of scalar variance dissipation from microconductivity sensors were used to estimate buoyancy flux and the flux Richardson number Rif. The majority of the samples were outside the boundary layer, based on the ratio of Ozmidov and boundary length scales, and had a mean Rif = 0.23 ± 0.01 (dissipation flux coefficient Γ = 0.30 ± 0.02) and a median gradient Richardson number Rig = 0.25. The boundary-influenced subset of the data had decreased efficiency, with Rif = 0.17 ± 0.02 (Γ = 0.20 ± 0.03) and median Rig = 0.16. The relationship between Rif and Rig was consistent with a turbulent Prandtl number of 1. Acoustic backscatter imagery revealed coherent braids in the mixing layer during the early ebb and a transition to more homogeneous turbulence in the midebb. A temporal trend in efficiency was also visible, with higher efficiency in the early ebb and lower efficiency in the late ebb when the bottom boundary layer had greater influence on the flow. These findings show that mixing efficiency of turbulence in a continuously forced, energetic, free shear layer can be significantly greater than the broadly cited upper bound from Osborn of 0.15–0.17.
    Description: Holleman was supported by the Devonshire Scholars program. The field study and the coauthors’ contributions were supported by NSF Grant OCE 0926427.
    Description: 2016-11-24
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Mixing ; Shear structure/flows ; Turbulence ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Ship observations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-07-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 85-100, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0234.1.
    Description: Observations and analyses of two tidally recurring, oblique, internal hydraulic jumps at a stratified estuary mouth (Columbia River, Oregon/Washington) are presented. These hydraulic features have not previously been studied due to the challenges of both horizontally resolving the sharp gradients and temporally resolving their evolution in numerical models and traditional observation platforms. The jumps, both of which recurred during ebb, formed adjacent to two engineered lateral channel constrictions and were identified in marine radar image time series. Jump occurrence was corroborated by (i) a collocated sharp gradient in the surface currents measured via airborne along-track interferometric synthetic aperture radar and (ii) the transition from supercritical to subcritical flow in the cross-jump direction via shipborne velocity and density measurements. Using a two-layer approximation, observed jump angles at both lateral constrictions are shown to lie within the theoretical bounds given by the critical internal long-wave (Froude) angle and the arrested maximum-amplitude internal bore angle, respectively. Also, intratidal and intertidal variability of the jump angles are shown to be consistent with that expected from the two-layer model, applied to varying stratification and current speed over a range of tidal and river discharge conditions. Intratidal variability of the upchannel jump angle is similar under all observed conditions, whereas the downchannel jump angle shows an additional association with stratification and ebb velocity during the low discharge periods. The observations additionally indicate that the upchannel jump achieves a stable position that is collocated with a similarly oblique bathymetric slope.
    Description: We acknowledge the financial support of the Office of Naval Research under Awards N00014-10-1-0932 and N00014-13-1-0364.
    Description: 2017-07-04
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Baroclinic flows ; Internal waves ; Microwave observations ; Remote sensing
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 753-770, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3808.1.
    Description: A tidally and cross-sectionally averaged model based on the temporal evolution of the quasi-steady Hansen and Rattray equations is applied to simulate the salinity distribution and vertical exchange flow along the Hudson River estuary. The model achieves high skill at hindcasting salinity and residual velocity variation during a 110-day period in 2004 covering a wide range of river discharges and tidal forcing. The approach is based on an existing model framework that has been modified to improve model skill relative to observations. The external forcing has been modified to capture meteorological time-scale variability in salinity, stratification, and residual velocity due to sea level fluctuations at the open boundary and along-estuary wind stress. To reflect changes in vertical mixing due to stratification, the vertical mixing coefficients have been modified to use the bottom boundary layer height rather than the water depth as an effective mixing length scale. The boundary layer parameterization depends on the tidal amplitude and the local baroclinic pressure gradient through the longitudinal Richardson number, and improves the model response to spring–neap variability in tidal amplitude during periods of high river discharge. Finally, steady-state model solutions are evaluated for both the Hudson River and northern San Francisco Bay over a range of forcing conditions. Agreement between the model and scaling of equilibrium salinity intrusions lends confidence that the approach is transferable to other estuaries, despite significant differences in bathymetry. Discrepancies between the model results and observations at high river discharge are indicative of limits at which the formulation begins to fail, and where an alternative approach that captures two-layer dynamics would be more appropriate.
    Description: This research was supported by the Hudson River Foundation Grant 005/03A, NSF Grant OCE-0452054, and by the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the J. Seward Johnson Fund.
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Salinity ; Rivers ; Tides ; Wind stress
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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