On the nature of estuarine circulation : part I (chapters 3 and 4)
Stommel, Henry M.
Former, Harlow G.
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The reader will quickly see that the subject matter of Chapter 3 is confined to the hydraulics of sharply stratified media, whereas real estuaries are always more or less diffusely stratified. What is more, no discussion is made of the order of magnitude of the friction terms. In ordinary single layer flow (such as in rivers) engineers already have crude approximations of the friction terms (Chezy and Manning formulas), but we do not have even these approximations for two layer flow. For this reason the differential equations of gradually varied flow of two layers are for the most part left unintegrated and all that is demonstrated is the qualitative aspects of the flow. In the case of entrainment of water from one layer into another we can only perform integrations of the equations when the amount of entrainment is known, whereas in real estuaries we do not have a priori knowledge of this amount. The reader will see, therefore, that the subject matter of Chapter 3 is really very incomplete, leaving undetermined all the constants which depend upon turbulent mixing, upon the frictional stresses on the bottom, and the free surface and the walls, and upon the amount of entrainment. The contents of Chapter 4 are somewhat different. First of all, they contain summaries of several of these papers have proceeded on the basis of hypotheses already published papers on the mixing in estuaries. Most about the nature of the mixing process. The applicability of these hypotheses appears to be restricted to only certain estuaries, and it must be admitted that more work has been done that involves guessing what the mixing processes in an estuary might be, than has been done in trying to find out what the mixing processes in an estuary actually are. As incomplete as the subject matter of Chapter 4 is, it is hoped that it will suggest which of the possible mixing processes in estuaries may be important in any particular one which is the subject of study, and that it will also suggest the type of observations which will be most desirable in studying a particular estuary. For example: in an unstratified estuary it seems that a more or less uniform spacing of stations up and down the estuary is desirable; but in an estuary which appears to be subject to the constraint of overmixing (Section 4.51) the location of stations should be largely confined to control sections.