Tidal dynamics and dispersion around coastal headlands
Signell, Richard P.
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LocationGay Head, MA
The dynamics of shallow tidal currents and tide-induced dispersion are investigated around coastal headlands that have alongshore length scales that are comparable to or less than the tidal excursion. Depth-averaged shallow water equations forced by oscillatory flow are solved numerically for Gaussian headlands. The tidal flows around these headlands are shown to be characterized by flow separation and. transient eddy formation. Idealized models of flow separation and the transport and damping of vorticity away from the headland explain much of the observed behavior. The characteristics of the separated wake are compared with known results from the study of viscous flow around bluff bodies. The kinematics of particle dispersion in the numerical solutions is described and analyzed.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1989