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  • Estuary  (7)
  • Circulation/ Dynamics  (3)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-07-28
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 692–712, doi:10.1002/2016JC011738.
    Description: The Connecticut River is a tidal salt wedge estuary, where advection of sharp salinity gradients through channel constrictions and over steeply sloping bathymetry leads to spatially heterogeneous stratification and mixing. A 3-D unstructured grid finite-volume hydrodynamic model (FVCOM) was evaluated against shipboard and moored observations, and mixing by both the turbulent closure and numerical diffusion were calculated. Excessive numerical mixing in regions with strong velocities, sharp salinity gradients, and steep bathymetry reduced model skill for salinity. Model calibration was improved by optimizing both the bottom roughness (z0), based on comparison with the barotropic tidal propagation, and the mixing threshold in the turbulence closure (steady state Richardson number, Rist), based on comparison with salinity. Whereas a large body of evidence supports a value of Rist ∼ 0.25, model skill for salinity improved with Rist ∼ 0.1. With Rist = 0.25, numerical mixing contributed about 1/2 the total mixing, while with Rist = 0.10 it accounted for ∼2/3, but salinity structure was more accurately reproduced. The combined contributions of numerical and turbulent mixing were quantitatively consistent with high-resolution measurements of turbulent mixing. A coarser grid had increased numerical mixing, requiring further reductions in turbulent mixing and greater bed friction to optimize skill. The optimal Rist for the fine grid case was closer to 0.25 than for the coarse grid, suggesting that additional grid refinement might correspond with Rist approaching the theoretical limit. Numerical mixing is rarely assessed in realistic models, but comparisons with high-resolution observations in this study suggest it is an important factor.
    Description: NSF Grant Number: OCE 0926427; ONR Grant Number: N00014-08-1-1115
    Description: 2017-07-28
    Keywords: Estuary ; Salt wedge ; Numerical mixing ; Turbulence closure ; Numerical model
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 546–561, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0082.1.
    Description: Model studies and observations in the Hudson River estuary indicate that frontogenesis occurs as a result of topographic forcing. Bottom fronts form just downstream of lateral constrictions, where the width of the estuary increases in the down-estuary (i.e., seaward) direction. The front forms during the last several hours of the ebb, when the combination of adverse pressure gradient in the expansion and baroclinicity cause a stagnation of near-bottom velocity. Frontogenesis is observed in two dynamical regimes: one in which the front develops at a transition from subcritical to supercritical flow and the other in which the flow is everywhere supercritical. The supercritical front formation appears to be associated with lateral flow separation. Both types of fronts are three-dimensional, with strong lateral gradients along the flanks of the channel. During spring tide conditions, the fronts dissipate during the flood, whereas during neap tides the fronts are advected landward during the flood. The zone of enhanced density gradient initiates frontogenesis at multiple constrictions along the estuary as it propagates landward more than 60 km during several days of neap tides. Frontogenesis and frontal propagation may thus be essential elements of the spring-to-neap transition to stratified conditions in partially mixed estuaries.
    Description: Support for this research was provided by NSF Grant OCE 0926427.
    Description: 2015-08-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Baroclinic flows ; Coastal flows ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Fronts
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    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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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-12-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 4743–4760, doi:10.1002/2016JC012455.
    Description: Estuarine mixing is often intensified in regions where topographic forcing leads to hydraulic transitions. Observations in the salt-wedge estuary of the Connecticut River indicate that intense mixing occurs during the ebb tide in regions of supercritical flow that is accelerated by lateral expansion of the channel. The zones of mixing are readily identifiable based on echo-sounding images of large-amplitude shear instabilities. The gradient Richardson number (Ri) averaged across the mixing layer decreases to a value very close to 0.25 during most of the active mixing phase. The along-estuary variation in internal Froude number and interface elevation are roughly consistent with a steady, inviscid, two-layer hydraulic representation, and the fit is improved when a parameterization for interfacial stress is included. The analysis indicates that the mixing results from lateral straining of the shear layer, and that the rapid development of instabilities maintains the overall flow near the mixing threshold value of Ri = 0.25, even with continuous, active mixing. The entrainment coefficient can be estimated from salt conservation within the interfacial layer, based on the finding that the mixing maintains Ri = 0.25. This approach leads to a scaling estimate for the interfacial mixing coefficient based on the lateral spreading rate and the aspect ratio of the flow, yielding estimates of turbulent dissipation within the pycnocline that are consistent with estimates based on turbulence-resolving measurements.
    Description: NSF Grant Number: OCE 0926427; Devonshire Scholars program
    Description: 2017-12-12
    Keywords: Internal hydraulics ; Mixing ; Gradient Richardson number ; Estuary
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-05-02
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 122 (2017): 2042–2063, doi:10.1002/2017JF004337.
    Description: Observations and a numerical model are used to characterize sediment transport in the tidal Hudson River. A sediment budget over 11 years including major discharge events indicates the tidal fresh region traps about 40% of the sediment input from the watershed. Sediment input scales with the river discharge cubed, while seaward transport in the tidal river scales linearly, so the tidal river accumulates sediment during the highest discharge events. Sediment pulses associated with discharge events dissipate moving seaward and lag the advection speed of the river by a factor of 1.5 to 3. Idealized model simulations with a range of discharge and settling velocity were used to evaluate the trapping efficiency, transport rate, and mean age of sediment input from the watershed. The seaward transport of suspended sediment scales linearly with discharge but lags the river velocity by a factor that is linear with settling velocity. The lag factor is 30–40 times the settling velocity (mm s−1), so transport speeds vary by orders of magnitude from clay (0.01 mm s−1) to coarse silt (1 mm s−1). Deposition along the tidal river depends strongly on settling velocity, and a simple advection-reaction equation represents the loss due to settling on depositional shoals. The long-term discharge record is used to represent statistically the distribution of transport times, and time scales for settling velocities of 0.1 mm s−1 and 1 mm s−1 range from several months to several years for transport through the tidal river and several years to several decades through the estuary.
    Description: Hudson River Foundation Grant Number: 004/13A; National Science Foundation Grant Number: 1325136
    Description: 2018-05-02
    Keywords: Tidal river ; Sediment age ; Trapping efficiency ; Estuary ; Sediment transport
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 110 (2005): C05001, doi:10.1029/2004JC002691.
    Description: Numerical simulations of the Hudson River estuary using a terrain-following, three-dimensional model (Regional Ocean Modeling System, ROMS) are compared with an extensive set of timeseries and spatially resolved measurements over a 43-day period with large variations in tidal forcing and river discharge. The model is particularly effective at reproducing the observed temporal variations in both the salinity and current structure, including tidal, spring-neap, and river discharge induced variability. Large observed variations in stratification between neap and spring tides are captured qualitatively and quantitatively by the model. The observed structure and variations of the longitudinal salinity gradient are also well reproduced. The most notable discrepancy between the model and the data is in the vertical salinity structure. While the surface-to-bottom salinity difference is well reproduced, the stratification in the model tends to extend all the way to the water surface, whereas the observations indicate a distinct pycnocline and a surface mixed layer. Because the southern boundary condition is located near the mouth the estuary, the salinity within the domain is particularly sensitive to the specification of salinity at the boundary. A boundary condition for the horizontal salinity gradient, based on the local value of salinity, is developed to incorporate physical processes beyond the open boundary not resolved by the model. Model results are sensitive to the specification of the bottom roughness length and vertical stability functions, insofar as they influence the intensity of vertical mixing. The results only varied slightly between different turbulence closure methods of k-ε, k-ω, and k-kl.
    Description: We gratefully acknowledge support from the U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Post-doctoral Research Program for support of J. C. Warner. J. A. Lerczak and W. R. Geyer were supported by the Hudson River Foundation.
    Keywords: Estuary ; Model skill assessment ; Hudson River
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): C05004, doi:10.1029/2003JC002094.
    Description: Rates of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) production and buoyancy flux in the region immediately seaward (~1 km) of a highly stratified estuarine front at the mouth of the Fraser River (British Columbia, Canada) are calculated using a control volume approach. The calculations are based on field data obtained from shipboard instrumentation, specifically velocity data from a ship mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), and salinity data from a towed conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) unit. The results allow for the calculation of vertical velocities in the water column, and the total vertical transport of salt and momentum. The vertical turbulent transport quantities (inline equation, inline equation) can then be estimated as the difference between the total transport and the advective transport. Estimated production is on the order of 10−3 m2 s−3, yielding a value of ɛ(νN2)−1 on the order of 104. This rate of TKE production is at the upper limit of reported values for ocean and coastal environments. Flux Richardson numbers in this highly energetic system generally range from 0.15 to 0.2, with most mixing occurring at gradient Richardson numbers slightly less than inline equation. These values compare favorably with other values in the literature that are associated with turbulence observations from regimes characterized by scales several orders of magnitude smaller than are present in the Fraser River.
    Description: This work was performed as a part of D. MacDonald’s Ph.D. thesis, and was funded by Office of Naval Research grants N000-14-97-10134 and N000-14-97- 10566, National Science Foundation grant OCE-9906787, a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship, and support from the WHOI Academic Programs Office.
    Keywords: Turbulence ; Entrainment ; Estuary
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Computers & Geosciences 36 (2010): 921-935, doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2009.11.008.
    Description: We investigate the processes that influence residence time in a partially mixed estuary using a three-dimensional circulation model. The complex geometry of the study region is not optimal for a structured grid model and so we developed a new method of grid connectivity. This involves a novel approach that allows an unlimited number of individual grids to be combined in an efficient manner to produce a composite grid. We then implemented this new method into the numerical Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and developed a composite grid of the Hudson River estuary region to investigate the residence time of a passive tracer. Results show that the residence time is a strong function of the time of release (spring vs. neap tide), the along-channel location, and the initial vertical placement. During neap tides there is a maximum in residence time near the bottom of the estuary at the mid-salt intrusion length. During spring tides the residence time is primarily a function of along-channel location and does not exhibit a strong vertical variability. This model study of residence time illustrates the utility of the grid connectivity method for circulation and dispersion studies in regions of complex geometry.
    Description: W.R. Geyer was supported by the Hudson River Foundation Grant 002/07A,H.G.Arango by the Office of Naval Research,and John Warner was supported by the USGS Community Sediment Modeling Project.
    Keywords: Residence time ; Estuary ; Three-dimensional model ; Hudson river estuary ; ROMS ; Composite grid
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 5451–5455, doi:10.1002/2013GL057906.
    Description: Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011 produced intense precipitation and flooding in the U.S. Northeast, including the Hudson River watershed. Sediment input to the Hudson River was approximately 2.7 megaton, about 5 times the long-term annual average. Rather than the common assumption that sediment is predominantly trapped in the estuary, observations and model results indicate that approximately two thirds of the new sediment remained trapped in the tidal freshwater river more than 1 month after the storms and only about one fifth of the new sediment reached the saline estuary. High sediment concentrations were observed in the estuary, but the model results suggest that this was predominantly due to remobilization of bed sediment. Spatially localized deposits of new and remobilized sediment were consistent with longer term depositional records. The results indicate that tidal rivers can intercept (at least temporarily) delivery of terrigenous sediment to the marine environment during major flow events.
    Description: This research was supported by grants from the Hudson Research Foundation (002/07A) and the National Science Foundation (1232928).
    Description: 2014-04-18
    Keywords: Sediment transport ; Tidal river ; Estuary ; Sediment trapping
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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