Extracting sea level residual in tidally dominated estuarine environments

Brown, Jennifer M. ORCID:; Bolaños, Rodolfo; Howarth, Michael J.; Souza, Alejandro J.. 2012 Extracting sea level residual in tidally dominated estuarine environments. Ocean Dynamics, 62 (7). 969-982.

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Sea level comprises a mean level, tidal elevation and a residual elevation. Knowledge of what causes maximum water levels is often key in coastal management. However, different methods to extract deviations in water level (residuals) from modelled and observed elevation can give different results. The Dee Estuary, northwest England is a macrotidal estuary that undergoes periodic stratification. It is used here to demonstrate methods to extract the residual water level in response to the following interactive processes: tidal, river-induced stratification and flow, meteorology and waves. Using modelling techniques, the interaction and contribution of different physical processes are investigated. Classical harmonic tidal analysis, model simulations and filtering techniques have been used to “de-tide” the total elevation for short-term (approximately month long) records. Each technique gives a different result highlighting the need to select the correct method for a required study. Analysis of the residual components demonstrates that all processes inducing residuals interact with the tide generating a semi-diurnal residual component. It is suggested that modelling methods enable the full effect of tidal interaction to remain in the residual, whilst harmonic tidal analysis (partly) modify and filtering methods (fully) remove this component of the residual. The analysis methods presented and their influences on the resultant residual are applicable to other study sites. However, when applied specifically to the mouth of the Dee Estuary, the external surge is found to be the main contributor to the total residual, whilst local wind and stratification effects are of secondary importance.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: NOC Programmes > Marine Physics and Ocean Climate
NOC Programmes
ISSN: 1616-7341
Additional Keywords: Dee Estuary, Tide–surge stratification, POLCOMS–GOTM–WAM, Flood management, Residual water level
Date made live: 03 Jul 2012 09:07 +0 (UTC)

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