Butman Bradford

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  • Article
    Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-04-04) Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Ganju, Neil K. ; Butman, Bradford ; Signell, Richard P.
    A system of barrier islands and back-barrier bays occurs along southern Long Island, New York, and in many coastal areas worldwide. Characterizing the bay physical response to water level fluctuations is needed to understand flooding during extreme events and evaluate their relation to geomorphological changes. Offshore sea level is one of the main drivers of water level fluctuations in semienclosed back-barrier bays. We analyzed observed water levels (October 2007 to November 2015) and developed analytical models to better understand bay water level along southern Long Island. An increase (∼0.02 m change in 0.17 m amplitude) in the dominant M2 tidal amplitude (containing the largest fraction of the variability) was observed in Great South Bay during mid-2014. The observed changes in both tidal amplitude and bay water level transfer from offshore were related to the dredging of nearby inlets and possibly the changing size of a breach across Fire Island caused by Hurricane Sandy (after December 2012). The bay response was independent of the magnitude of the fluctuations (e.g., storms) at a specific frequency. An analytical model that incorporates bay and inlet dimensions reproduced the observed transfer function in Great South Bay and surrounding areas. The model predicts the transfer function in Moriches and Shinnecock bays where long-term observations were not available. The model is a simplified tool to investigate changes in bay water level and enables the evaluation of future conditions and alternative geomorphological settings.
  • Article
    On the interpretation of energy and energy fluxes of nonlinear internal waves : an example from Massachusetts Bay
    (Cambridge University Press, 2006-08-09) Scotti, Alberto ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Butman, Bradford
    A self-consistent formalism to estimate baroclinic energy densities and fluxes resulting from the propagation of internal waves of arbitrary amplitude is derived using the concept of available potential energy. The method can be applied to numerical, laboratory or field data.
  • 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
    Shoaling of nonlinear internal waves in Massachusetts Bay
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-08-19) Scotti, Alberto ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Butman, Bradford ; Pineda, Jesus
    The shoaling of the nonlinear internal tide in Massachusetts Bay is studied with a fully nonlinear and nonhydrostatic model. The results are compared with current and temperature observations obtained during the August 1998 Massachusetts Bay Internal Wave Experiment and observations from a shorter experiment which took place in September 2001. The model shows how the approaching nonlinear undular bore interacts strongly with a shoaling bottom, offshore of where KdV theory predicts polarity switching should occur. It is shown that the shoaling process is dominated by nonlinearity, and the model results are interpreted with the aid of a two-layer nonlinear but hydrostatic model. After interacting with the shoaling bottom, the undular bore emerges on the shallow shelf inshore of the 30-m isobath as a nonlinear internal tide with a range of possible shapes, all of which are found in the available observational record.
  • Article
    Long-term performance of Aanderaa optodes and Sea-Bird SBE-43 dissolved-oxygen sensors bottom mounted at 32 m in Massachusetts Bay
    (American Meteorological Society, 2007-11) Martini, Marinna ; Butman, Bradford ; Mickelson, Michael J.
    A field evaluation of two new dissolved-oxygen sensing technologies, the Aanderaa Instruments AS optode model 3830 and the Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc., model SBE43, was carried out at about 32-m water depth in western Massachusetts Bay. The optode is an optical sensor that measures fluorescence quenching by oxygen molecules, while the SBE43 is a Clark polarographic membrane sensor. Optodes were continuously deployed on bottom tripod frames by exchanging sensors every 4 months over a 19-month period. A Sea-Bird SBE43 was added during one 4-month deployment. These moored observations compared well with oxygen measurements from profiles collected during monthly shipboard surveys conducted by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The mean correlation coefficient between the moored measurements and shipboard survey data was >0.9, the mean difference was 0.06 mL L−1, and the standard deviation of the difference was 0.15 mL L−1. The correlation coefficient between the optode and the SBE43 was >0.9 and the mean difference was 0.07 mL L−1. Optode measurements degraded when fouling was severe enough to block oxygen molecules from entering the sensing foil over a significant portion of the sensing window. Drift observed in two optodes beginning at about 225 and 390 days of deployment is attributed to degradation of the sensing foil. Flushing is necessary to equilibrate the Sea-Bird sensor. Power consumption by the SBE43 and required pump was 19.2 mWh per sample, and the optode consumed 0.9 mWh per sample, both within expected values based on manufacturers’ specifications.
  • 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.
  • Technical Report
    Fluid mechanical measurements within the boundary layer over the northern California Continental Shelf during STRESS
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1993-09) Fredericks, Janet J. ; Trowbridge, John H. ; Williams, Albert J. ; Lentz, Steven J. ; Butman, Bradford ; Gross, Thomas F.
    In studying the processes controlling particle distrbution of fine sediments over the continental shelf, the height, structure and dynamics of the bottom boundary layer must be better understood. The Sediment Transport Events on Shelves and Slopes (STRESS) program provides a comprehensive set of data over the bottom half of the water column at the 90m and the 130m isobaths along the northern California continental shelf during the winters of 1988-89 and 1990-91. This report presents the STRESS salinity, temperature, velocity, wave characteristics and attenuation data. The report describes the processing, provides plots and tables of the data and corresponding statistics for evaluation of the data, and documents the data fies. The combined set of moored and tripod mounted instrument measurements provides integrated, hourly-averaged profiles of the lower half of the water column at the four sites which can be used for analysis and modeling purposes.
  • Preprint
    Surface circulation in Block Island Sound and adjacent coastal and shelf regions : a FVCOM-CODAR comparison
    ( 2016-02-29) Sun, Yunfang ; Chen, Changsheng ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Ullman, Dave ; Butman, Bradford ; Lin, Huichan
    CODAR-derived surface currents in Block Island Sound over the period of June 2000 through September 2008 were compared to currents computed using the Northeast Coastal Ocean Forecast System (NECOFS). The measurement uncertainty of CODAR-derived currents, estimated using statistics of a screened nine-year time series of hourly-averaged flow field, ranged from 3-7 cm/s in speed and 4°-14° in direction. The CODAR-derived and model-computed kinetic energy spectrum densities were in good agreement at subtidal frequencies, but the NECOFS-derived currents were larger by about 28% at semi-diurnal and diurnal tidal frequencies. The short-term (hourly to daily) current variability was dominated by the semidiurnal tides (predominantly the M2 tide), which on average accounted for ~87% of the total kinetic energy. The diurnal tidal and subtidal variability accounted for ~4% and ~9% of the total kinetic energy, respectively. The monthly-averaged difference between the CODAR-derived and model-computed velocities over the study area was 6 cm/s or less in speed and 28° or less in direction over the study period. An EOF analysis for the low-frequency vertically-averaged model current field showed that the water transport in the Block Island Sound region was dominated by modes 1 and 2, which accounted for 89% and 7% of the total variance, respectively. Mode 1 represented a relatively stationary spatial and temporal flow pattern with a magnitude that varied with season. Mode 2 was characterized mainly by a secondary cross-shelf flow and a relatively strong along-shelf flow. Process-oriented model experiments indicated that the relatively stationary flow pattern found in mode 1 was a result of tidal rectification and its magnitude changed with seasonal stratification. Correlation analysis between the flow and wind stress suggested that the cross-shelf water transport and its temporal variability in mode 2 were highly correlated to the surface wind forcing. The mode 2 derived onshore and offshore water transport, and was consistent with wind-driven Ekman theory. The along-shelf water transport over the outer shelf, where a large portion of the water flowed from upstream Nantucket Shoals, was not highly correlated to the surface wind stress.
  • Technical Report
    Nantucket shoals flux experiment (NSFE79) : part 2, moored array data report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1983-11) Beardsley, Robert C. ; Alessi, Carol A. ; Vermersch, John A. ; Brown, W. Steven ; Pettigrew, Neal R. ; Irish, James D. ; Ramp, Steven R. ; Schlitz, Ronald J. ; Butman, Bradford
    The Nantucket Shoals Flux Experiment (NSFE79) was conducted across the continental shelf and upper slope south of Nantucket from March, 1979 to April , 1980 to measure the flow of shelf water from the Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine region into the Middle Atlantic Bight. Conceived as a cooperative field experiment involving the Northeast Fisheries Center (NMFS), U.S. Geological Survey (Woods Hole), University of New Hampshire, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the experiment contained two principal components, a moored array of current meter and bottom instrumentation deployed at six locations across the shelf and upper slope spanning a depth range from 46 m to 810 m, and a series of 27 hydrographic surveys made along or near the moored array line during the experiment. A basic description of the NSFE79 hydrographic data has been given in Part 1 by Wright (1983). A description of the moored array components and the basic moored array data sets is presented here in Part 2.
  • 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
    The vertical structure of the circulation and dynamics in Hudson Shelf Valley
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-06-11) Lentz, Steven J. ; Butman, Bradford ; Harris, Courtney K.
    Hudson Shelf Valley is a 20–30 m deep, 5–10 km wide v-shaped submarine valley that extends across the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf. The valley provides a conduit for cross-shelf exchange via along-valley currents of 0.5 m s−1 or more. Current profile, pressure, and density observations collected during the winter of 1999–2000 are used to examine the vertical structure and dynamics of the flow. Near-bottom along-valley currents having times scales of a few days are driven by cross-shelf pressure gradients setup by wind stresses, with eastward (westward) winds driving onshore (offshore) flow within the valley. The along-valley momentum balance in the bottom boundary layer is predominantly between the pressure gradient and bottom stress because the valley bathymetry limits current veering. Above the bottom boundary layer, the flow veers toward an along-shelf (cross-valley) orientation and a geostrophic balance with some contribution from the wind stress (surface Ekman layer). The vertical structure and strength of the along-valley current depends on the magnitude and direction of the wind stress. During offshore flows driven by westward winds, the near-bottom stratification within the valley increases resulting in a thinner bottom boundary layer and weaker offshore currents. Conversely, during onshore flows driven by eastward winds the near-bottom stratification decreases resulting in a thicker bottom boundary layer and stronger onshore currents. Consequently, for wind stress magnitudes exceeding 0.1 N m−2, onshore along-valley transport associated with eastward wind stress exceeds the offshore transport associated with westward wind stress of the same magnitude.
  • Article
    Storm-driven sediment transport in Massachusetts Bay
    (Elsevier B.V., 2007-09-22) Warner, John C. ; Butman, Bradford ; Dalyander, P. Soupy
    Massachusetts Bay is a semi-enclosed embayment in the western Gulf of Maine about 50 km wide and 100 km long. Bottom sediment resuspension is controlled predominately by storm-induced surface waves and transport by the tidal- and wind-driven circulation. Because the Bay is open to the northeast, winds from the northeast (‘Northeasters’) generate the largest surface waves and are thus the most effective in resuspending sediments. The three-dimensional oceanographic circulation model Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) is used to explore the resuspension, transport, and deposition of sediment caused by Northeasters. The model transports multiple sediment classes and tracks the evolution of a multilevel sediment bed. The surficial sediment characteristics of the bed are coupled to one of several bottom-boundary layer modules that calculate enhanced bottom roughness due to wave–current interaction. The wave field is calculated from the model Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN). Two idealized simulations were carried out to explore the effects of Northeasters on the transport and fate of sediments. In one simulation, an initially spatially uniform bed of mixed sediments exposed to a series of Northeasters evolved to a pattern similar to the existing surficial sediment distribution. A second set of simulations explored sediment-transport pathways caused by storms with winds from the northeast quadrant by simulating release of sediment at selected locations. Storms with winds from the north cause transport southward along the western shore of Massachusetts Bay, while storms with winds from the east and southeast drive northerly nearshore flow. The simulations show that Northeasters can effectively transport sediments from Boston Harbor and the area offshore of the harbor to the southeast into Cape Cod Bay and offshore into Stellwagen Basin. This transport pattern is consistent with Boston Harbor as the source of silver found in the surficial sediments of Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Basin.
  • Article
    Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in Alexandrium fundyense cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine
    (Elsevier, 2013-11-05) Butman, Bradford ; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Dickhudt, Patrick J. ; Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Anderson, Donald M. ; Keafer, Bruce A. ; Signell, Richard P.
    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 spring to initiate new blooms. Erosion measurements were made on sediment cores collected at seven stations in the Gulf of Maine in the autumn of 2011 to explore if resuspension (by waves and currents) could change the distribution of over-wintering cysts from patterns observed in the previous autumn; or if resuspension could contribute cysts to the water column during spring when cysts are viable. The mass of sediment eroded from the core surface at 0.4 Pa ranged from 0.05 kg m−2 near Grand Manan Island, to 0.35 kg m−2 in northern Wilkinson Basin. The depth of sediment eroded ranged from about 0.05 mm at a station with sandy sediment at 70 m water depth on the western Maine shelf, to about 1.2 mm in clayey–silt sediment at 250 m water depth in northern Wilkinson Basin. The sediment erodibility measurements were used in a sediment-transport model forced with modeled waves and currents for the period October 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011 to predict resuspension and bed erosion. The simulated spatial distribution and variation of bottom shear stress was controlled by the strength of the semi-diurnal tidal currents, which decrease from east to west along the Maine coast, and oscillatory wave-induced currents, which are strongest in shallow water. Simulations showed occasional sediment resuspension along the central and western Maine coast associated with storms, steady resuspension on the eastern Maine shelf and in the Bay of Fundy associated with tidal currents, no resuspension in northern Wilkinson Basin, and very small resuspension in western Jordan Basin. The sediment response in the model depended primarily on the profile of sediment erodibility, strength and time history of bottom stress, consolidation time scale, and the current in the water column. Based on analysis of wave data from offshore buoys from 1996 to 2012, the number of wave events inducing a bottom shear stress large enough to resuspend sediment at 80 m ranged from 0 to 2 in spring (April and May) and 0 to 10 in winter (October through March). Wave-induced resuspension is unlikely in water greater than about 100 m deep. The observations and model results suggest that a millimeter or so of sediment and associated cysts may be mobilized in both winter and spring, and that the frequency of resuspension will vary interannually. Depending on cyst concentration in the sediment and the vertical distribution in the water column, these events could result in a concentration in the water column of at least 104 cysts m−3. In some years, resuspension events could episodically introduce cysts into the water column in spring, where germination is likely to be facilitated at the time of bloom formation. An assessment of the quantitative effects of cyst resuspension on bloom dynamics in any particular year requires more detailed investigation.
  • Article
    Large internal waves in Massachusetts Bay transport sediments offshore
    (Elsevier B.V., 2006-09-26) Butman, Bradford ; Alexander, P. Soupy ; Scotti, Alberto ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Anderson, Steven P.
    A field experiment was carried out in Massachusetts Bay in August 1998 to assess the role of large-amplitude internal waves (LIWs) in resuspending bottom sediments. The field experiment consisted of a four-element moored array extending from just west of Stellwagen Bank (90-m water depth) across Stellwagen Basin (85- and 50-m water depth) to the coast (24-m water depth). The LIWs were observed in packets of 5–10 waves, had periods of 5–10 min and wavelengths of 200–400 m, and caused downward excursions of the thermocline of as much as 30 m. At the 85-m site, the current measured 1 m above bottom (mab) typically increased from near 0 to 0.2 m/s offshore in a few minutes upon arrival of the LIWs. At the 50-m site, the near-bottom offshore flow measured 6 mab increased from about 0.1 to 0.4–0.6 m/s upon arrival of the LIWs and remained offshore in the bottom layer for 1–2 h. The near-bottom currents associated with the LIWs, in concert with the tidal currents, were directed offshore and sufficient to resuspend the bottom sediments at both the 50- and 85-m sites. When LIWs are present, they may resuspend sediments for as long as 5 hours each tidal cycle as they travel westward across Stellwagen Basin. At 85-m water depth, resuspension associated with LIWs is estimated to occur for about 0.4 days each summer, about the same amount of time as caused by surface waves.
  • Article
    Characteristics of storms driving wave-induced seafloor mobility on the U.S. East Coast continental shelf
    (Elsevier, 2015-05-12) Dalyander, P. Soupy ; Butman, Bradford
    This study investigates the relationship between spatial and temporal patterns of wave-driven sediment mobility events on the U.S. East Coast continental shelf and the characteristics of the storms responsible for them. Mobility events, defined as seafloor wave stress exceedance of the critical stress of 0.35 mm diameter sand (0.2160 Pa) for 12 or more hours, were identified from surface wave observations at National Data Buoy Center buoys in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) and South Atlantic Bight (SAB) over the period of 1997–2007. In water depths ranging from 36–48 m, there were 4–9 mobility events/year of 1–2 days duration. Integrated wave stress during events (IWAVES) was used as a combined metric of wave-driven mobility intensity and duration. In the MAB, over 67% of IWAVES was caused by extratropical storms, while in the SAB, greater than 66% of IWAVES was caused by tropical storms. On average, mobility events were caused by waves generated by storms located 800+ km away. Far-field hurricanes generated swell 2–4 days before the waves caused mobility on the shelf. Throughout most of the SAB, mobility events were driven by storms to the south, east, and west. In the MAB and near Cape Hatteras, winds from more northerly storms and low-pressure extratropical systems in the mid-western U.S. also drove mobility events. Waves generated by storms off the SAB generated mobility events along the entire U.S. East Coast shelf north to Cape Cod, while Cape Hatteras shielded the SAB area from swell originating to the north offshore of the MAB.
  • Article
    A modified beam-to-earth transformation to measure short-wavelength internal waves with an acoustic Doppler current profiler
    (American Meteorological Society, 2005-05) Scotti, Alberto ; Butman, Bradford ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Alexander, P. Soupy ; Anderson, Steven P.
    The algorithm used to transform velocity signals from beam coordinates to earth coordinates in an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) relies on the assumption that the currents are uniform over the horizontal distance separating the beams. This condition may be violated by (nonlinear) internal waves, which can have wavelengths as small as 100–200 m. In this case, the standard algorithm combines velocities measured at different phases of a wave and produces horizontal velocities that increasingly differ from true velocities with distance from the ADCP. Observations made in Massachusetts Bay show that currents measured with a bottom-mounted upward-looking ADCP during periods when short-wavelength internal waves are present differ significantly from currents measured by point current meters, except very close to the instrument. These periods are flagged with high error velocities by the standard ADCP algorithm. In this paper measurements from the four spatially diverging beams and the backscatter intensity signal are used to calculate the propagation direction and celerity of the internal waves. Once this information is known, a modified beam-to-earth transformation that combines appropriately lagged beam measurements can be used to obtain current estimates in earth coordinates that compare well with pointwise measurements.
  • Technical Report
    Mean Eulerian subsurface currents measured in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent Scotian and New England shelf and slope regions, 1974-1980
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1983-11) Beardsley, Robert C. ; Alessi, Carol A. ; Smith, Peter C. ; Butman, Bradford
    The Bedford Institute of Oceanography, E.G.&G., National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have conducted separate moored array experiments during 1974- 1980 to study various aspects of the regional circulation in the Gulf of Maine and adjacent Scotian and New England shelf and slope regions. The mean currents and current variances measured in these experiments are summarized here in tabular and graphical form, together with other information about each experiment. While there have been few measurements made in the interior of the Gulf of Maine, the map of mean subsurface currents demonstrate (a) a net inflow of Scotian shelf water past Cape Sable into the Gulf, (b) a net inflow of slope water through the Northeast Channel into the Gulf, (c) a partially closed anticyclonic circulation around Georges Bank, and (d) a net outflow of shelf water south of Nantucket from the Gulf of Maine into the New England shelf.
  • Article
    A catastrophic meltwater flood event and the formation of the Hudson Shelf Valley
    (Elsevier B.V., 2007-01-04) Thieler, E. Robert ; Butman, Bradford ; Schwab, William C. ; Allison, Mead A. ; Driscoll, Neal W. ; Donnelly, Jeffrey P. ; Uchupi, Elazar
    The Hudson Shelf Valley (HSV) is the largest physiographic feature on the U.S. mid-Atlantic continental shelf. The 150-km long valley is the submerged extension of the ancestral Hudson River Valley that connects to the Hudson Canyon. Unlike other incised valleys on the mid-Atlantic shelf, it has not been infilled with sediment during the Holocene. Analyses of multibeam bathymetry, acoustic backscatter intensity, and high-resolution seismic reflection profiles reveal morphologic and stratigraphic evidence for a catastrophic meltwater flood event that formed the modern HSV. The valley and its distal deposits record a discrete flood event that carved 15-m high banks, formed a 120-km2 field of 3- to 6-m high bedforms, and deposited a subaqueous delta on the outer shelf. The HSV is inferred to have been carved initially by precipitation and meltwater runoff during the advance of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, and later by the drainage of early proglacial lakes through stable spillways. A flood resulting from the failure of the terminal moraine dam at the Narrows between Staten Island and Long Island, New York, allowed glacial lakes in the Hudson and Ontario basins to drain across the continental shelf. Water level changes in the Hudson River basin associated with the catastrophic drainage of glacial lakes Iroquois, Vermont, and Albany around 11,450 14C year BP (~ 13,350 cal BP) may have precipitated dam failure at the Narrows. This 3200 km3 discharge of freshwater entered the North Atlantic proximal to the Gulf Stream and may have affected thermohaline circulation at the onset of the Intra-Allerød Cold Period. Based on bedform characteristics and fluvial morphology in the HSV, the maximum freshwater flux during the flood event is estimated to be ~ 0.46 Sv for a duration of ~ 80 days.
  • Article
    Generation and propagation of nonlinear internal waves in Massachusetts Bay
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-10-02) Scotti, Alberto ; Beardsley, Robert C. ; Butman, Bradford
    During the summer, nonlinear internal waves (NLIWs) are commonly observed propagating in Massachusetts Bay. The topography of the area is unique in the sense that the generation area (over Stellwagen Bank) is only 25 km away from the shoaling area, and thus it represents an excellent natural laboratory to study the life cycle of NLIWs. To assist in the interpretation of the data collected during the 1998 Massachusetts Bay Internal Wave Experiment (MBIWE98), a fully nonlinear and nonhydrostatic model covering the generation/shoaling region was developed, to investigate the response of the system to the range of background and driving conditions observed. Simplified models were also used to elucidate the role of nonlinearity and dispersion in shaping the NLIW field. This paper concentrates on the generation process and the subsequent evolution in the basin. The model was found to reproduce well the range of propagation characteristics observed (arrival time, propagation speed, amplitude), and provided a coherent framework to interpret the observations. Comparison with a fully nonlinear hydrostatic model shows that during the generation and initial evolution of the waves as they move away from Stellwagen Bank, dispersive effects play a negligible role. Thus the problem can be well understood considering the geometry of the characteristics along which the Riemann invariants of the hydrostatic problem propagate. Dispersion plays a role only during the evolution of the undular bore in the middle of Stellwagen Basin. The consequences for modeling NLIWs within hydrostatic models are briefly discussed at the end.
  • Article
    Water level response in back-barrier bays unchanged following Hurricane Sandy
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-05-02) Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Butman, Bradford ; Ganju, Neil K.
    On 28–30 October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused severe flooding along portions of the northeast coast of the United States and cut new inlets across barrier islands in New Jersey and New York. About 30% of the 20 highest daily maximum water levels observed between 2007 and 2013 in Barnegat and Great South Bay occurred in 5 months following Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy provided a rare opportunity to determine whether extreme events alter systems protected by barrier islands, leaving the mainland more vulnerable to flooding. Comparisons between water levels before and after Hurricane Sandy at bay stations and an offshore station show no significant differences in the transfer of sea level fluctuations from offshore to either bay following Sandy. The post-Hurricane Sandy bay high water levels reflected offshore sea levels caused by winter storms, not by barrier island breaching or geomorphic changes within the bays.