Curvature‐ and wind‐driven cross‐channel flows at an unstratified tidal bend
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Observations of currents, water levels, winds, and bathymetry collected for a month at an unstratified, narrow (150 m), shallow (8 m), 90° tidal inlet bend are used to evaluate an analytical model for curvature‐driven flow and the effects of local wind on the cross‐channel circulation. Along‐channel flows ranged from −1.0 to 1.4 m/s (positive is inland), and the magnitudes of cross‐channel flows were roughly 0.1–0.2 m/s near the outer bank of the bend. Cross‐channel observations suggest the lateral sea‐surface gradients and along‐channel flows are tidally asymmetric and spatially variable. The depth‐averaged along‐channel dynamics are consistent with a balance between the surface tilt and centrifugal acceleration. The vertical structure and magnitude of cross‐channel flows during weak winds are consistent with a one‐dimensional depth‐varying balance between centrifugal acceleration, bottom stress, and diffusion. Low‐passed (to remove tides) surface and bottom cross‐channel flows are correlated (r2 = 0.5–0.7) with cross‐channel wind velocity, suggesting that winds can enhance or degrade the local‐curvature‐induced, two‐layer flow and can drive three‐layer flow. The observed flow response to the wind is larger than that expected from a one‐dimensional balance, suggesting that two‐dimensional and three‐dimensional processes may be important.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2018. 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 123 (2018): 3832-3843, doi:10.1029/2017JC013722.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123 (2018): 3832-3843
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