Brink, Kenneth H.
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KeywordCoastal physical oceanography; Turbulent boundary layers; Coastal instabilities; Nutrient supplies; Wind forcing
Cross-shelf exchange dominates the pathways and rates by which nutrients, biota and materials on the continental shelf are delivered and removed. These transports are limited by Earth’s rotation, which inhibits flow from crossing isobaths. Thus, cross-shelf transports are generally weak compared to alongshore flows, and this leads to interesting observational issues. Cross-shelf flows are enabled by turbulent mixing processes, by nonlinear processes (such as momentum advection), and by time-dependence. Thus, there is a wide range of possible effects that can allow these critical transports, and different natural settings are often governed by differing mixes of processes. Examples of representative transport mechanisms are discussed, and possible observational and theoretical paths to future progress are explored.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Annual Reviews for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Annual Review of Marine Science 8 (2016): 59-78, doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015717.
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