Sherwood Christopher R.

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Christopher R.

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  • Article
    Modeling the morphodynamics of coastal responses to extreme events: what shape are we in?
    (Annual Reviews, 2021-07-27) Sherwood, Christopher R. ; van Dongeren, Ap ; Doyle, James D. ; Hegermiller, Christie A. ; Hsu, Tian-Jian ; Kalra, Tarandeep S. ; Olabarrieta, Maitane ; Penko, Allison M. ; Rafati, Yashar ; Roelvink, Dano ; van der Lugt, Marlies ; Veeramony, Jay ; Warner, John C.
    This review focuses on recent advances in process-based numerical models of the impact of extreme storms on sandy coasts. Driven by larger-scale models of meteorology and hydrodynamics, these models simulate morphodynamics across the Sallenger storm-impact scale, including swash,collision, overwash, and inundation. Models are becoming both wider (as more processes are added) and deeper (as detailed physics replaces earlier parameterizations). Algorithms for wave-induced flows and sediment transport under shoaling waves are among the recent developments. Community and open-source models have become the norm. Observations of initial conditions (topography, land cover, and sediment characteristics) have become more detailed, and improvements in tropical cyclone and wave models provide forcing (winds, waves, surge, and upland flow) that is better resolved and more accurate, yielding commensurate improvements in model skill. We foresee that future storm-impact models will increasingly resolve individual waves, apply data assimilation, and be used in ensemble modeling modes to predict uncertainties.
  • Article
    Tidal variation in cohesive sediment distribution and sensitivity to flocculation and bed consolidation in an idealized, partially mixed estuary
    (MDPI, 2019-09-25) Tarpley, Danielle R.N. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    Particle settling velocity and erodibility are key factors that govern the transport of sediment through coastal environments including estuaries. These are difficult to parameterize in models that represent mud, whose properties can change in response to many factors, including tidally varying suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and shear stress. Using the COAWST (Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport) model framework, we implemented bed consolidation, sediment-induced stratification, and flocculation formulations within an idealized two-dimensional domain that represented the longitudinal dimension of a micro-tidal, muddy, partially mixed estuary. Within the Estuarine Turbidity Maximum (ETM), SSC and median floc diameter varied by a factor of four over the tidal cycle. Downstream of the ETM, the median floc size and SSC were several times smaller and showed less tidal variation (~20% or less). The suspended floc distributions only reached an equilibrium size as a function of SSC and shear in the ETM at peak tidal flow. In general, flocculation increased particle size, which reduced SSC by half in the ETM through increased settling velocity. Consolidation also limited SSC by reduced resuspension, which then limited floc growth through reduced SSC by half outside of the ETM. Sediment-induced stratification had negligible effects in the parameter space examined. Efforts to lessen the computation cost of the flocculation routine by reducing the number of size classes proved difficult; floc size distribution and SSC were sensitive to specification of size classes by factors of 60% and 300%, respectively.
  • Article
    Estimating hydrodynamic roughness in a wave-dominated environment with a high-resolution acoustic Doppler profiler
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-06-30) Lacy, Jessica R. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Wilson, Douglas J. ; Chisholm, Thomas A. ; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.
    Hydrodynamic roughness is a critical parameter for characterizing bottom drag in boundary layers, and it varies both spatially and temporally due to variation in grain size, bedforms, and saltating sediment. In this paper we investigate temporal variability in hydrodynamic roughness using velocity profiles in the bottom boundary layer measured with a high-resolution acoustic Doppler profiler (PCADP). The data were collected on the ebb-tidal delta off Grays Harbor, Washington, in a mean water depth of 9 m. Significant wave height ranged from 0.5 to 3 m. Bottom roughness has rarely been determined from hydrodynamic measurements under conditions such as these, where energetic waves and medium-to-fine sand produce small bedforms. Friction velocity due to current u *c and apparent bottom roughness z 0a were determined from the PCADP burst mean velocity profiles using the law of the wall. Bottom roughness k B was estimated by applying the Grant-Madsen model for wave-current interaction iteratively until the model u *c converged with values determined from the data. The resulting k B values ranged over 3 orders of magnitude (10−1 to 10−4 m) and varied inversely with wave orbital diameter. This range of k B influences predicted bottom shear stress considerably, suggesting that the use of time-varying bottom roughness could significantly improve the accuracy of sediment transport models. Bedform height was estimated from k B and is consistent with both ripple heights predicted by empirical models and bedforms in sonar images collected during the experiment.
  • Article
    Model behavior and sensitivity in an application of the Cohesive Bed Component of the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System for the York River estuary, VA, USA
    (MDPI AG, 2014-05-19) Fall, Kelsey A. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Rinehimer, J. Paul ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    The Community Sediment Transport Modeling System (CSTMS) cohesive bed sub-model that accounts for erosion, deposition, consolidation, and swelling was implemented in a three-dimensional domain to represent the York River estuary, Virginia. The objectives of this paper are to (1) describe the application of the three-dimensional hydrodynamic York Cohesive Bed Model, (2) compare calculations to observations, and (3) investigate sensitivities of the cohesive bed sub-model to user-defined parameters. Model results for summer 2007 showed good agreement with tidal-phase averaged estimates of sediment concentration, bed stress, and current velocity derived from Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) field measurements. An important step in implementing the cohesive bed model was specification of both the initial and equilibrium critical shear stress profiles, in addition to choosing other parameters like the consolidation and swelling timescales. This model promises to be a useful tool for investigating the fundamental controls on bed erodibility and settling velocity in the York River, a classical muddy estuary, provided that appropriate data exists to inform the choice of model parameters.
  • Article
    Near-bottom circulation and dispersion of sediment containing Alexandrium fundyense cysts in the Gulf of Maine during 2010–2011
    (Elsevier, 2013-12-13) Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Butman, Bradford ; Signell, Richard P. ; Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Sheremet, Vitalii A. ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
    The life cycle of Alexandrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine includes a dormant cyst stage that spends the winter predominantly in the bottom sediment. Wave-current bottom stress caused by storms and tides induces resuspension of cyst-containing sediment during winter and spring. Resuspended sediment could be transported by water flow to different locations in the Gulf and the redistribution of sediment containing A. fundyense cysts could alter the spatial and temporal manifestation of its spring bloom. The present study evaluates model near-bottom flow during storms, when sediment resuspension and redistribution are most likely to occur, between October and May when A. fundyense cells are predominantly in cyst form. Simulated water column sediment (mud) concentrations from representative locations of the Gulf are used to initialize particle tracking simulations for the period October 2010–May 2011. Particles are tracked in full three-dimensional model solutions including a sinking velocity characteristic of cyst and aggregated mud settling (0.1 mm s−1). Although most of the material was redeposited near the source areas, small percentages of total resuspended sediment from some locations in the western (~4%) and eastern (2%) Maine shelf and the Bay of Fundy (1%) traveled distances longer than 100 km before resettling. The redistribution changed seasonally and was sensitive to the prescribed sinking rate. Estimates of the amount of cysts redistributed with the sediment were small compared to the inventory of cysts in the upper few centimeters of sediment but could potentially have more relevance immediately after deposition.
  • Article
    Underwater microscope for measuring spatial and temporal changes in bed-sediment grain size
    (Elsevier B.V., 2007-05-26) Rubin, David M. ; Chezar, Henry ; Harney, Jodi N. ; Topping, David J. ; Melis, Theodore S. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    For more than a century, studies of sedimentology and sediment transport have measured bed-sediment grain size by collecting samples and transporting them back to the laboratory for grain-size analysis. This process is slow and expensive. Moreover, most sampling systems are not selective enough to sample only the surficial grains that interact with the flow; samples typically include sediment from at least a few centimeters beneath the bed surface. New hardware and software are available for in situ measurement of grain size. The new technology permits rapid measurement of surficial bed sediment. Here we describe several systems we have deployed by boat, by hand, and by tripod in rivers, oceans, and on beaches.
  • Article
    Sediment dispersal in the northwestern Adriatic Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-10-29) Harris, Courtney K. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Signell, Richard P. ; Bever, Aaron J. ; Warner, John C.
    Sediment dispersal in the Adriatic Sea was evaluated using coupled three-dimensional circulation and sediment transport models, representing conditions from autumn 2002 through spring 2003. The calculations accounted for fluvial sources, resuspension by waves and currents, and suspended transport. Sediment fluxes peaked during southwestward Bora wind conditions that produced energetic waves and strengthened the Western Adriatic Coastal Current. Transport along the western Adriatic continental shelf was nearly always to the south, except during brief periods when northward Sirocco winds reduced the coastal current. Much of the modeled fluvial sediment deposition was near river mouths, such as the Po subaqueous delta. Nearly all Po sediment remained in the northern Adriatic. Material from rivers that drain the Apennine Mountains traveled farther before deposition than Po sediment, because it was modeled with a lower settling velocity. Fluvial sediment delivered to areas with high average bed shear stress was more highly dispersed than material delivered to more quiescent areas. Modeled depositional patterns were similar to observed patterns that have developed over longer timescales. Specifically, modeled Po sediment accumulation was thickest near the river mouth with a very thin deposit extending to the northeast, consistent with patterns of modern sediment texture in the northern Adriatic. Sediment resuspended from the bed and delivered by Apennine Rivers was preferentially deposited on the northern side of the Gargano Peninsula, in the location of thick Holocene accumulation. Deposition here was highest during Bora winds when convergences in current velocities and off-shelf flux enhanced delivery of material to the midshelf.
  • Preprint
    Alexandrium fundyense cysts in the Gulf of Maine : long-term time series of abundance and distribution, and linkages to past and future blooms
    ( 2013-10) Anderson, Donald M. ; Keafer, Bruce A. ; Kleindinst, Judith L. ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J. ; Martin, Jennifer L. ; Norton, Kerry ; Pilskaln, Cynthia H. ; Smith, Juliette L. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Butman, Bradford
    Here we document Alexandrium fundyense cyst abundance and distribution patterns over nine years (1997 and 2004-2011) in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and identify linkages between those patterns and several metrics of the severity or magnitude of blooms occurring before and after each autumn cyst survey. We also explore the relative utility of two measures of cyst abundance and demonstrate that GOM cyst counts can be normalized to sediment volume, revealing meaningful patterns equivalent to those determined with dry weight normalization.Cyst concentrations were highly variable spatially. Two distinct 1 seedbeds (defined here as accumulation zones with > 300 cysts cm-3) are evident, one in the Bay of Fundy (BOF) and one in mid-coast Maine. Overall, seedbed locations remained relatively constant through time, but their area varied 3-4 fold, and total cyst abundance more than 10 fold among years. A major expansion of the mid-coast Maine seedbed occurred in 2009 following an unusually intense A. fundyense bloom with visible red-water conditions, but that feature disappeared by late 2010. The regional system thus has only two seedbeds with the bathymetry, sediment characteristics, currents, biology, and environmental conditions necessary to persist for decades or longer. Strong positive correlations were confirmed between the abundance of cysts in both the 0-1 and the 0-3 cm layers of sediments in autumn and geographic measures of the extent of the bloom that occurred the next year (i.e., cysts → blooms), such as the length of coastline closed due to shellfish toxicity or the southernmost latitude of shellfish closures. In general, these metrics of bloom geographic extent did not correlate with the number of cysts in sediments following the blooms (blooms → cysts). There are, however, significant positive correlations between 0-3 cm cyst abundances and metrics of the preceding bloom that are indicative of bloom intensity or vegetative cell abundance (e.g., cumulative shellfish toxicity, duration of detectable toxicity in shellfish, and bloom termination date). These data suggest that it may be possible to use cyst abundance to empirically forecast the geographic extent of the forthcoming bloom and, conversely, to use other metrics from bloom and toxicity events to forecast the size of the subsequent cyst population as the inoculum for the next year’s bloom. This is an important step towards understanding the excystment/encystment cycle in A. fundyense bloom dynamics while also augmenting our predictive capability for this HAB-forming species in the GOM.
  • Article
    Sediment transport and deposition on a river-dominated tidal flat : an idealized model study
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-10-16) Chen, Shih-Nan ; Geyer, W. Rockwell ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Ralston, David K.
    A 3-D hydrodynamic model is used to investigate how different size classes of river-derived sediment are transported, exported and trapped on an idealized, river-dominated tidal flat. The model is composed of a river channel flanked by sloping tidal flats, a configuration motivated by the intertidal region of the Skagit River mouth in Washington State, United States. It is forced by mixed tides and a pulse of freshwater and sediment with various settling velocities. In this system, the river not only influences stratification but also contributes a significant cross-shore transport. As a result, the bottom stress is strongly ebb-dominated in the channel because of the seaward advance of strong river flow as the tidal flats drain during ebbs. Sediment deposition patterns and mass budgets are sensitive to settling velocity. The lateral sediment spreading scales with an advective distance (settling time multiplied by lateral flow speed), thereby confining the fast settling sediment classes in the channel. Residual sediment transport is landward on the flats, because of settling lag, but is strongly seaward in the channel. The seaward transport mainly occurs during big ebbs and is controlled by a length scale ratio Ld/XWL, where Ld is a cross-shore advective distance (settling time multiplied by river outlet velocity), and XWL is the immersed cross-shore length of the intertidal zone. Sediment trapping requires Ld/XWL < 1, leading to more trapping for the faster settling classes. Sensitivity studies show that including stratification and reducing tidal range both favor sediment trapping, whereas varying channel geometries and asymmetry of tides has relatively small impacts. Implications of the modeling results on the south Skagit intertidal region are discussed.
  • Article
    Modeling of barrier breaching during hurricanes Sandy and Matthew
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-01-26) Hegermiller, Christie A. ; Warner, John C. ; Olabarrieta, Maitane ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Kalra, Tarandeep S.
    Physical processes driving barrier island change during storms are important to understand to mitigate coastal hazards and to evaluate conceptual models for barrier evolution. Spatial variations in barrier island topography, landcover characteristics, and nearshore and back-barrier hydrodynamics can yield complex morphological change that requires models of increasing resolution and physical complexity to predict. Using the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system, we investigated two barrier island breaches that occurred on Fire Island, NY during Hurricane Sandy (2012) and at Matanzas, FL during Hurricane Matthew (2016). The model employed a recently implemented infragravity (IG) wave driver to represent the important effects of IG waves on nearshore water levels and sediment transport. The model simulated breaching and other changes with good skill at both locations, resolving differences in the processes and evolution. The breach simulated at Fire Island was 250 m west of the observed breach, whereas the breach simulated at Matanzas was within 100 m of the observed breach. Implementation of the vegetation module of COAWST to allow three-dimensional drag over dune vegetation at Fire Island improved model skill by decreasing flows across the back-barrier, as opposed to varying bottom roughness that did not positively alter model response. Analysis of breach processes at Matanzas indicated that both far-field and local hydrodynamics influenced breach creation and evolution, including remotely generated waves and surge, but also surge propagation through back-barrier waterways. This work underscores the importance of resolving the complexity of nearshore and back-barrier systems when predicting barrier island change during extreme events.
  • Article
    Advantages and limitations to the use of optical measurements to study sediment properties
    (MDPI, 2018-12-19) Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Hill, Paul S. ; Milligan, Tim
    Measurements of optical properties have been used for decades to study particle distributions in the ocean. They are useful for estimating suspended mass concentration as well as particle-related properties such as size, composition, packing (particle porosity or density), and settling velocity. Measurements of optical properties are, however, biased, as certain particles, because of their size, composition, shape, or packing, contribute to a specific property more than others. Here, we study this issue both theoretically and practically, and we examine different optical properties collected simultaneously in a bottom boundary layer to highlight the utility of such measurements. We show that the biases we are likely to encounter using different optical properties can aid our studies of suspended sediment. In particular, we investigate inferences of settling velocity from vertical profiles of optical measurements, finding that the effects of aggregation dynamics can seldom be ignored.
  • Article
    Formation dynamics of subsurface hydrocarbon intrusions following the Deepwater Horizon blowout
    (American Geophysical Union, 2011-05-12) Socolofsky, Scott A. ; Adams, E. Eric ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    Hydrocarbons released following the Deepwater Horizon (DH) blowout were found in deep, subsurface horizontal intrusions, yet there has been little discussion about how these intrusions formed. We have combined measured (or estimated) observations from the DH release with empirical relationships developed from previous lab experiments to identify the mechanisms responsible for intrusion formation and to characterize the DH plume. Results indicate that the intrusions originate from a stratification-dominated multiphase plume characterized by multiple subsurface intrusions containing dissolved gas and oil along with small droplets of liquid oil. Unlike earlier lab measurements, where the potential density in ambient water decreased linearly with elevation, at the DH site it varied quadratically. We have modified our method for estimating intrusion elevation under these conditions and the resulting estimates agree with observations that the majority of the hydrocarbons were found between 800 and 1200 m.
  • Article
    Characterizing wave- and current- induced bottom shear stress : U.S. middle Atlantic continental shelf
    (Elsevier B.V., 2012-11-05) Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Butman, Bradford ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Signell, Richard P. ; Wilkin, John L.
    Waves and currents create bottom shear stress, a force at the seabed that influences sediment texture distribution, micro-topography, habitat, and anthropogenic use. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the magnitude, variability, and driving mechanisms of bottom stress and resultant sediment mobility on regional scales using numerical model output. The analysis was applied to the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB), off the U.S. East Coast, and identified a tidally-dominated shallow region with relatively high stress southeast of Massachusetts over Nantucket Shoals, where sediment mobility thresholds are exceeded over 50% of the time; a coastal band extending offshore to about 30 m water depth dominated by waves, where mobility occurs more than 20% of the time; and a quiescent low stress region southeast of Long Island, approximately coincident with an area of fine-grained sediments called the “Mud Patch”. The regional high in stress and mobility over Nantucket Shoals supports the hypothesis that fine grain sediment winnowed away in this region maintains the Mud Patch to the southwest. The analysis identified waves as the driving mechanism for stress throughout most of the MAB, excluding Nantucket Shoals and sheltered coastal bays where tides dominate; however, the relative dominance of low-frequency events varied regionally, and increased southward toward Cape Hatteras. The correlation between wave stress and local wind stress was lowest in the central MAB, indicating a relatively high contribution of swell to bottom stress in this area, rather than locally generated waves. Accurate prediction of the wave energy spectrum was critical to produce good estimates of bottom shear stress, which was sensitive to energy in the long period waves.
  • Article
    Effect of roughness formulation on the performance of a coupled wave, hydrodynamic, and sediment transport model
    (Elsevier B.V., 2010-03-27) Ganju, Neil K. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    A variety of algorithms are available for parameterizing the hydrodynamic bottom roughness associated with grain size, saltation, bedforms, and wave–current interaction in coastal ocean models. These parameterizations give rise to spatially and temporally variable bottom-drag coefficients that ostensibly provide better representations of physical processes than uniform and constant coefficients. However, few studies have been performed to determine whether improved representation of these variable bottom roughness components translates into measurable improvements in model skill. We test the hypothesis that improved representation of variable bottom roughness improves performance with respect to near-bed circulation, bottom stresses, or turbulence dissipation. The inner shelf south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, is the site of sorted grain-size features which exhibit sharp alongshore variations in grain size and ripple geometry over gentle bathymetric relief; this area provides a suitable testing ground for roughness parameterizations. We first establish the skill of a nested regional model for currents, waves, stresses, and turbulent quantities using a uniform and constant roughness; we then gauge model skill with various parameterization of roughness, which account for the influence of the wave-boundary layer, grain size, saltation, and rippled bedforms. We find that commonly used representations of ripple-induced roughness, when combined with a wave–current interaction routine, do not significantly improve skill for circulation, and significantly decrease skill with respect to stresses and turbulence dissipation. Ripple orientation with respect to dominant currents and ripple shape may be responsible for complicating a straightforward estimate of the roughness contribution from ripples. In addition, sediment-induced stratification may be responsible for lower stresses than predicted by the wave–current interaction model.
  • Article
    Sediment transport model including short-lived radioisotopes: Model description and idealized test cases
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-11-27) Birchler, Justin J. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Kniskern, Tara A.
    Geochronologies derived from sediment cores in coastal locations are often used to infer event bed characteristics such as deposit thicknesses and accumulation rates. Such studies commonly use naturally occurring, short-lived radioisotopes, such as Beryllium-7 (7Be) and Thorium-234 (234Th), to study depositional and post-depositional processes. These radioisotope activities, however, are not generally represented in sediment transport models that characterize coastal flood and storm deposition with grain size patterns and deposit thicknesses. We modified the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System (CSTMS) to account for reactive tracers and used this capability to represent the behavior of these short-lived radioisotopes on the sediment bed. This paper describes the model and presents results from a set of idealized, one-dimensional (vertical) test cases. The model configuration represented fluvial deposition followed by periods of episodic storm resuspension. Sensitivity tests explored the influence on seabed radioisotope profiles by the intensities of bioturbation and wave resuspension and the thickness of fluvial deposits. The intensity of biodiffusion affected the persistence of fluvial event beds as evidenced by 7Be. Both resuspension and biodiffusion increased the modeled seabed inventory of 234Th. A thick fluvial deposit increased the seabed inventory of 7Be and 234Th but mixing over time greatly reduced the difference in inventory of 234Th in fluvial deposits of different thicknesses.
  • Article
    Sediment transport on the Palos Verdes shelf, California
    (Elsevier B.V., 2010-02-01) Ferré, Bénédicte ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Wiberg, Patricia L.
    Sediment transport and the potential for erosion or deposition have been investigated on the Palos Verdes (PV) and San Pedro shelves in southern California to help assess the fate of an effluent-affected deposit contaminated with DDT and PCBs. Bottom boundary layer measurements at two 60-m sites in spring 2004 were used to set model parameters and evaluate a one-dimensional (vertical) model of local, steady-state resuspension, and suspended-sediment transport. The model demonstrated skill (Brier scores up to 0.75) reproducing the magnitudes of bottom shear stress, current speeds, and suspended-sediment concentrations measured during an April transport event, but the model tended to underpredict observed rotation in the bottom-boundary layer, possibly because the model did not account for the effects of temperature–salinity stratification. The model was run with wave input estimated from a nearby buoy and current input from four to six years of measurements at thirteen sites on the 35- and 65-m isobaths on the PV and San Pedro shelves. Sediment characteristics and erodibility were based on gentle wet-sieve analysis and erosion-chamber measurements. Modeled flow and sediment transport were mostly alongshelf toward the northwest on the PV shelf with a significant offshore component. The 95th percentile of bottom shear stresses ranged from 0.09 to 0.16 Pa at the 65-m sites, and the lowest values were in the middle of the PV shelf, near the Whites Point sewage outfalls where the effluent-affected layer is thickest. Long-term mean transport rates varied from 0.9 to 4.8 metric tons m−1 yr−1 along the 65-m isobaths on the PV shelf, and were much higher at the 35-m sites. Gradients in modeled alongshore transport rates suggest that, in the absence of a supply of sediment from the outfalls or PV coast, erosion at rates of not, vert, similar0.2 mm yr−1 might occur in the region southeast of the outfalls. These rates are small compared to some estimates of background natural sedimentation rates (not, vert, similar5 mm yr−1), but do not preclude higher localized rates near abrupt transitions in sediment characteristics. However, low particle settling velocities and strong currents result in transport length-scales that are long relative to the narrow width of the PV shelf, which combined with the significant offshore component in transport, means that transport of resuspended sediment towards deep water is as likely as transport along the axis of the effluent-affected deposit.
  • Article
    The cospectrum of stress-carrying turbulence in the presence of surface gravity waves
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-12-28) Trowbridge, John H. ; Scully, Malcolm E. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    The cospectrum of the horizontal and vertical turbulent velocity fluctuations, an essential tool for understanding measurements of the turbulent Reynolds shear stress, often departs in the ocean from the shape that has been established in the atmospheric surface layer. Here, we test the hypothesis that this departure is caused by advection of standard boundary layer turbulence by the random oscillatory velocities produced by surface gravity waves. The test is based on a model with two elements. The first is a representation of the spatial structure of the turbulence, guided by rapid distortion theory, and consistent with the one-dimensional cospectra that have been measured in the atmosphere. The second model element is a map of the spatial structure of the turbulence to the temporal fluctuations measured at fixed sensors, assuming advection of frozen turbulence by the velocities associated with surface waves. The model is adapted to removal of the wave velocities from the turbulent fluctuations using spatial filtering. The model is tested against previously published laboratory measurements under wave-free conditions and two new sets of measurements near the seafloor in the coastal ocean in the presence of waves. Although quantitative discrepancies exist, the model captures the dominant features of the laboratory and field measurements, suggesting that the underlying model physics are sound.
  • Article
    Accuracy of a pulse-coherent acoustic Doppler profiler in a wave-dominated flow
    (American Meteorological Society, 2004-09) Lacy, Jessica R. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    The accuracy of velocities measured by a pulse-coherent acoustic Doppler profiler (PCADP) in the bottom boundary layer of a wave-dominated inner-shelf environment is evaluated. The downward-looking PCADP measured velocities in eight 10-cm cells at 1 Hz. Velocities measured by the PCADP are compared to those measured by an acoustic Doppler velocimeter for wave orbital velocities up to 95 cm s−1 and currents up to 40 cm s−1. An algorithm for correcting ambiguity errors using the resolution velocities was developed. Instrument bias, measured as the average error in burst mean speed, is −0.4 cm s−1 (standard deviation = 0.8). The accuracy (root-mean-square error) of instantaneous velocities has a mean of 8.6 cm s−1 (standard deviation = 6.5) for eastward velocities (the predominant direction of waves), 6.5 cm s−1 (standard deviation = 4.4) for northward velocities, and 2.4 cm s−1 (standard deviation = 1.6) for vertical velocities. Both burst mean and root-mean-square errors are greater for bursts with ub ≥ 50 cm s−1. Profiles of burst mean speeds from the bottom five cells were fit to logarithmic curves: 92% of bursts with mean speed ≥ 5 cm s−1 have a correlation coefficient R2 > 0.96. In cells close to the transducer, instantaneous velocities are noisy, burst mean velocities are biased low, and bottom orbital velocities are biased high. With adequate blanking distances for both the profile and resolution velocities, the PCADP provides sufficient accuracy to measure velocities in the bottom boundary layer under moderately energetic inner-shelf conditions.
  • Article
    Shoaling wave shape estimates from field observations and derived bedload sediment rates
    (MDPI, 2022-02-08) Kalra, Tarandeep S. ; Suttles, Steven E. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Warner, John C. ; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Leavitt, Gibson R.
    he shoaling transformation from generally linear deep-water waves to asymmetric shallow-water waves modifies wave shapes and causes near-bed orbital velocities to become asymmetrical, contributing to net sediment transport. In this work, we used two methods to estimate the asymmetric wave shape from data at three sites. The first method converted wave measurements made at the surface to idealized near-bottom wave-orbital velocities using a set of empirical equations: the “parameterized” waveforms. The second method involved direct measurements of velocities and pressure made near the seabed: the “direct” waveforms. Estimates from the two methods were well correlated at all three sites (Pearson’s correlation coefficient greater than 0.85). Both methods were used to drive bedload-transport calculations that accounted for asymmetric waves, and the results were compared with a traditional excess-stress formulation and field estimates of bedload transport derived from ripple migration rates based on sonar imagery. The cumulative bedload transport from the parameterized waveform was 25% greater than the direct waveform, mainly because the parameterized waveform did not account for negative skewness. Calculated transport rates were comparable to rates estimated from ripple migration except during the largest event, when calculated rates were as much as 100 times greater, which occurred during high period waves.
  • Article
    Wave-current interaction between Hurricane Matthew wave fields and the Gulf Stream
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-11-01) Hegermiller, Christie A. ; Warner, John C. ; Olabarrieta, Maitane ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    Hurricanes interact with the Gulf Stream in the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) through a wide variety of processes, which are crucial to understand for prediction of open-ocean and coastal hazards during storms. However, it remains unclear how waves are modified by large-scale ocean currents under storm conditions, when waves are aligned with the storm-driven circulation and tightly coupled to the overlying wind field. Hurricane Matthew (2016) impacted the U.S. Southeast coast, causing extensive coastal change due to large waves and elevated water levels. The hurricane traveled on the continental shelf parallel to the SAB coastline, with the right side of the hurricane directly over the Gulf Stream. Using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport modeling system, we investigate wave–current interaction between Hurricane Matthew and the Gulf Stream. The model simulates ocean currents and waves over a grid encompassing the U.S. East Coast, with varied coupling of the hydrodynamic and wave components to isolate the effect of the currents on the waves, and the effect of the Gulf Stream relative to storm-driven circulation. The Gulf Stream modifies the direction of the storm-driven currents beneath the right side of the hurricane. Waves transitioned from following currents that result in wave lengthening, through negative current gradients that result in wave steepening and dissipation. Wave–current interaction over the Gulf Stream modified maximum coastal total water levels and changed incident wave directions at the coast by up to 20°, with strong implications for the morphodynamic response and stability of the coast to the hurricane.