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  • 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
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-07-02
    Description: © The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in PeerJ 4 (2016): e1770, doi:10.7717/peerj.1770.
    Description: A research cruise to Hannibal Bank, a seamount and an ecological hotspot in the coastal eastern tropical Pacific Ocean off Panama, explored the zonation, biodiversity, and the ecological processes that contribute to the seamount’s elevated biomass. Here we describe the spatial structure of a benthic anomuran red crab population, using submarine video and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) photographs. High density aggregations and a swarm of red crabs were associated with a dense turbid layer 4–10 m above the bottom. The high density aggregations were constrained to 355–385 m water depth over the Northwest flank of the seamount, although the crabs also occurred at lower densities in shallower waters (∼280 m) and in another location of the seamount. The crab aggregations occurred in hypoxic water, with oxygen levels of 0.04 ml/l. Barcoding of Hannibal red crabs, and pelagic red crabs sampled in a mass stranding event in 2015 at a beach in San Diego, California, USA, revealed that the Panamanian and the Californian crabs are likely the same species, Pleuroncodes planipes, and these findings represent an extension of the southern endrange of this species. Measurements along a 1.6 km transect revealed three high density aggregations, with the highest density up to 78 crabs/m2, and that the crabs were patchily distributed. Crab density peaked in the middle of the patch, a density structure similar to that of swarming insects.
    Description: This work was sponsored by a grant from the Dalio Foundation, Inc, through the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
    Keywords: Swarms ; Ecological hotspot ; Patchiness ; Panama ; Eastern Pacific ; Seamount ; Pleuroncodes planipes ; Hypoxic environment ; Anomuran crabs
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 3
    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
    Type: Article
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  • 4
    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
    Type: Article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2014-05-01
    Print ISSN: 0022-3670
    Electronic ISSN: 1520-0485
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 6
  • 7
    Publication Date: 2013-11-01
    Description: Characterizing scalar dispersion is a key concern in a wide variety of applications, including both steady-state and time-dependent studies of wastewater outfalls, salinity distribution in estuaries, and the spreading of pollutants from industrial spills. As the size of a scalar plume grows with respect to the size of the containing water body, the effective dispersion varies, from the well-known σ〈inf〉x〈/inf〉2 ∼ t3 behaviour for a plume enveloped in a region of linear shear, to the σ〈inf〉x〈/inf〉2 ∼ t behaviour at the limit of a laterally well-mixed plume. We introduce an additional regime in which the plume extends across the full range of the available shear, but is not significantly affected by the lateral bounds of the water body. Through an analytic treatment we show that this regime exhibits a σ〈inf〉x〈/inf〉2 ∼ t2 behaviour, independent of lateral mixing coefficient. Particle tracking results in an idealized, tidal channel-shoal basin demonstrate this regime as particle clouds straddle the channel-shoal interface. Quantitative analysis of spatial moments as plumes transition between regimes show good correlation between the observed parameters and parameters predicted by the analytic framework. ©2013 Cambridge University Press.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1120
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-7645
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-01-01
    Print ISSN: 2169-9275
    Electronic ISSN: 2169-9291
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-06-01
    Print ISSN: 2169-9275
    Electronic ISSN: 2169-9291
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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