Observed circulation and inferred sediment transport in Hudson Submarine Canyon
Hotchkiss, Frances Luellen Stephenson
MetadataShow full item record
LocationHudson Submarine Canyon
KeywordOcean circulation; Submarine valleys; Internal waves; Sediment transport; Oceanus (Ship : 1975-) Cruise OC34
Velocity and temperature time series from Hudson Submarine Canyon and hydrographic surveys of seven canyons of the Middle Atlantic Bight indicate that the effects of storms, tides, and incoming internal waves are intensified in submarine canyons. Storms with strong eastward and westward wind stress were found to cause strong upwelling and downwelling through the upper layers of Hudson Canyon. Storm-forced upwelling also caused strong down-canyon flows at the canyon floor. Internal waves were found to be concentrated in the canyon head and near the floor, in agreement with theoretical predictions. Slope water apparently circulates slowly through the outer part of the canyon and is mixed in near-floor layers which could be caused by breaking internal waves. Internal tides are generated at the floor in the central part of the canyon. Oscillations at tidal frequencies dominate the near-floor velocity field below the thermocline, and are accompanied by high-frequency spikes that may be nonlinear interface waves propagating on the top of the bottom mixed layer. A numerical model was used to calculate mixing in the canyon's bottom boundary layer caused by an unstable density gradient during flood tide. Energetic internal wave activity is apparently responsible for sediment sorting in the canyon head; the internal waves become more energetic as the sediment grain size increases. Below the thermocline, the tidal oscillations vary in amplitude with the phases of the moon; the observed deposition of mud can easily occur during weeks of low velocity.
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 May 1982
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