Bottom stress generation and sediment transport over the shelf and slope off of Lake Superior's Keweenaw peninsula
Churchill, James H.
Williams, Albert J.
Ralph, Elise A.
MetadataShow full item record
Data from near-bottom instruments reveal that the mechanisms responsible for generating bottom stresses and resuspending sediment over the shelf and slope off of Lake Superior's Keweenaw peninsula exhibit distinct seasonal variations. Notably, near-bottom flows over the slope are persistently weak (<10 cm s−1) during summer but frequently attain high speeds, in excess of 20 cm s−1, in autumn and winter. During the intense storms of autumn and winter the generation of bottom stress is enhanced by the action of near-bottom orbital velocities due to surface waves. Even at 90-m depth, orbital velocities can increase bottom stress by a factor of up to 20% during storms. Where the seasonal thermocline intersects the lake floor, bottom stress is also considerably enhanced, often by more than a factor of 2, by high-frequency motions in the internal wave band. Over the Keweenaw slope, sediment resuspension is largely confined to autumn and winter episodes of high bottom stress. Our analysis indicates that this resuspended material tends to be carried offshore, a phenomenon that is partly due to the coincidence of the direction of the buoyancy-driven component of the Keweenaw Current with downwelling favorable alongshore winds. As a result of this coincidence, currents and bottom stresses tend to be greater during periods of downwelling, as opposed to upwelling, circulation. A potential challenge to modeling storm-driven resuspension in the study region is indicated by observations that the minimum stress required for resuspension may vary significantly with time over the autumn and winter.
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): C10S04, doi:10.1029/2003JC001997.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Nowacki, Daniel J.; Ogston, Andrea S.; Nittrouer, Charles A.; Fricke, Aaron T.; Van, Pham Dang Tri (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-23)A better understanding of flow and sediment dynamics in the lowermost portions of large-tropical rivers is essential to constraining estimates of worldwide sediment delivery to the ocean. Flow velocity, salinity, and ...
Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in Alexandrium fundyense cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine Butman, Bradford; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Anderson, Donald M.; Keafer, Bruce A.; Signell, Richard P. (Elsevier, 2013-11-05)Cysts of Alexandrium fundyense, a dinoflagellate that causes toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Maine, spend the winter as dormant cells in the upper layer of bottom sediment or the bottom nepheloid layer and germinate in ...
Brink, Kenneth H.; Lentz, Steven J. (American Meteorological Society, 2010-04)The effects of a sloping bottom and stratification on a turbulent bottom boundary layer are investigated for cases where the interior flow oscillates monochromatically with frequency ω. At higher frequencies, or small slope ...