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  • Mixing  (13)
  • Shear structure/flows  (3)
  • Dynamics  (2)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-11-22
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2008. 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 113 (2008): C07023, doi:10.1029/2007JC004644.
    Description: A sequence of dye releases in the Hudson River estuary provide a quantitative assessment of horizontal dispersion in a partially mixed estuary. Dye was released in the bottom boundary layer on 4 separate occasions, with varying tidal phase and spring-neap conditions. The three-dimensional distribution of dye was monitored by two vessels with in situ, profiling fluorometers. The three-dimensional spreading of the dye was estimated by calculating the time derivative of the second moment of the dye in the along-estuary, cross-estuary and vertical directions. The average along-estuary dispersion rate was about 100 m2/s, but maximum rates up to 700 m2/s occurred during ebb tides, and minimum rates occurred during flood. Vertical shear dispersion was the principal mechanism during neap tides, but transverse shear dispersion became more important during springs. Suppression of mixing across the pycnocline limited the vertical extent of the patch in all but the maximum spring-tide conditions, with vertical diffusivities in the pycnocline estimated at 4 × 10−5 m2/s during neaps. The limited vertical extent of the dye patch limited the dispersion of the dye relative to the overall estuarine dispersion rate, which was an order of magnitude greater than that of the dye. This study indicates that the effective dispersion of waterborne material in an estuary depends sensitively on its vertical distribution as well as the phase of the spring-neap cycle.
    Description: This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant OCE04-52054 (W. Geyer), OCE00-99310 (R. Houghton), and OCE00-95913 (R. Chant).
    Keywords: Dispersion ; Mixing ; Spring-neap variations
    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, 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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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2010. 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 37 (2010): L22607, doi:10.1029/2010GL045272.
    Description: Shear instability is the dominant mechanism for converting fluid motion to mixing in the stratified ocean and atmosphere. The transition to turbulence has been well characterized in laboratory settings and numerical simulations at moderate Reynolds number—it involves “rolling up”, i.e., overturning of the density structure within the cores of the instabilities. In contrast, measurements in an energetic estuarine shear zone reveal that the mixing induced by shear instability at high Reynolds number does not primarily occur by overturning in the cores; rather it results from secondary shear instabilities within the zones of intensified shear separating the cores. This regime is not likely to be observed in the relatively low Reynolds number flows of the laboratory or in direct numerical simulations, but it is likely a common occurrence in the ocean and atmosphere.
    Description: This research was supported by NSF grant OCE‐0824871 and ONR grant N00014‐0810495.
    Keywords: Stratification ; Turbulence ; Mixing
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    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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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-04-22
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 1841–1861, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0231.1.
    Description: In this idealized numerical modeling study, the composition of residual sediment fluxes in energetic (e.g., weakly or periodically stratified) tidal estuaries is investigated by means of one-dimensional water column models, with some focus on the sediment availability. Scaling of the underlying dynamic equations shows dependence of the results on the Simpson number (relative strength of horizontal density gradient) and the Rouse number (relative settling velocity) as well as impacts of the Unsteadiness number (relative tidal frequency). Here, the parameter space given by the Simpson and Rouse numbers is mainly investigated. A simple analytical model based on the assumption of stationarity shows that for small Simpson and Rouse numbers sediment flux is down estuary and vice versa for large Simpson and Rouse numbers. A fully dynamic water column model coupled to a second-moment turbulence closure model allows to decompose the sediment flux profiles into contributions from the transport flux (product of subtidal velocity and sediment concentration profiles) and the fluctuation flux profiles (tidal covariance between current velocity and sediment concentration). Three different types of bottom sediment pools are distinguished to vary the sediment availability, by defining a time scale for complete sediment erosion. For short erosion times scales, the transport sediment flux may dominate, but for larger erosion time scales the fluctuation sediment flux largely dominates the tidal sediment flux. When quarter-diurnal components are added to the tidal forcing, up-estuary sediment fluxes are strongly increased for stronger and shorter flood tides and vice versa. The theoretical results are compared to field observations in a tidally energetic inlet.
    Description: Project funding was provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the Project ECOWS (Role of Estuarine Circulation for Transport of Suspended Particulate Matter in the Wadden Sea, BU 1199/11) and by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education in the framework of the Project PACE [The future of the Wadden Sea sediment fluxes: still keeping pace with sea level rise? (FKZ 03F0634A)].
    Description: 2014-03-01
    Keywords: Channel flows ; Coastal flows ; Mixing ; Transport ; Turbulence ; Single column models
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    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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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-06-06
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in he balance of salinity variance in a partially stratified estuary: Implications for exchange flow, mixing, and stratification. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48(12), (2018) 2887-2899., doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0032.1.
    Description: Salinity variance dissipation is related to exchange flow through the salinity variance balance equation, and meanwhile its magnitude is also proportional to the turbulence production and stratification inside the estuary. As river flow increases, estuarine volume-integrated salinity variance dissipation increases owing to more variance input from the open boundaries driven by exchange flow and river flow. This corresponds to the increased efficient conversion of turbulence production to salinity variance dissipation due to the intensified stratification with higher river flow. Through the spring–neap cycle, the temporal variation of salinity variance dissipation is more dependent on stratification than turbulence production, so it reaches its maximum during the transition from neap to spring tides. During most of the transition time from spring to neap tides, the advective input of salinity variance from the open boundaries is larger than dissipation, resulting in the net increase of variance, which is mainly expressed as vertical variance, that is, stratification. The intensified stratification in turn increases salinity variance dissipation. During neap tides, a large amount of enhanced salinity variance dissipation is induced by the internal shear stress near the halocline. During most of the transition time from neap to spring tides, dissipation becomes larger than the advective input, so salinity variance decreases and the stratification is destroyed.
    Description: TW was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant 2017YFA0604104), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41706002), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant BK20170864), and MEL Visiting Fellowship (MELRS1617). WRG was supported by NSF Grant OCE 1736539. Part of this work is finished during TW’s visit in MEL and WHOI. We would like to acknowledge John Warner for providing the codes of the Hudson estuary model, and Parker MacCready, the editor, and two reviewers for their insightful suggestions on improving the manuscript.
    Description: 2019-06-06
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Dynamics ; Mixing ; Density Currents
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-05-15
    Description: © The Author(s), 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 41 (2014): 8987–8993, doi:10.1002/2014GL062274.
    Description: Observations at the Columbia River plume show that wave breaking is an important source of turbulence at the offshore front, which may contribute to plume mixing. The lateral gradient of current associated with the plume front is sufficient to block (and break) shorter waves. The intense whitecapping that then occurs at the front is a significant source of turbulence, which diffuses downward from the surface according to a scaling determined by the wave height and the gradient of wave energy flux. This process is distinct from the shear-driven mixing that occurs at the interface of river water and ocean water. Observations with and without short waves are examined, especially in two cases in which the background conditions (i.e., tidal flows and river discharge) are otherwise identical.
    Description: This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research, as part of the Data Assimilation and Remote Sensing for Littoral Applications (DARLA) project and in coordination with the Rivers and Inlets (RIVET) program.
    Keywords: Wave breaking ; Turbulence ; Mixing ; Wave-current interaction ; River plume
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    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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