Linkage between lateral circulation and near-surface vertical mixing in a coastal plain estuary

Huguenard, K.D.; Valle-Levinson, A.; Li, M.; Chant, R J.; Souza, A.J.. 2015 Linkage between lateral circulation and near-surface vertical mixing in a coastal plain estuary. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120 (6). 4048-4067.

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AGU Publisher statement: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. © 2015 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted. doi:10.1002/2014JC010679
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Microstructure and current velocity measurements were collected at a cross-channel transect in the James River under spring and neap tidal conditions in May 2010 to study cross-estuary variations in vertical mixing. Results showed that near-surface mixing was related to lateral circulation during the ebb phase of a tidal cycle, and that the linkage was somewhat similar from neap to spring tides. During neap tides, near-surface mixing was generated by the straining of lateral density gradients influenced by the advection of fresh, riverine water on the right side (looking seaward) of the transect. Spring tide results revealed similar findings on the right side of the cross section. However, on the left side, the straining by velocity shears acted in concert with density straining. Weak along-estuary velocities over the left shoal were connected to faster velocities in the channel via a clockwise lateral circulation (looking seaward). These results provided evidence that in the absence of direct wind forcing, near-surface vertical mixing can occur from mechanisms uncoupled from bottom friction.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 21699275
Additional Keywords: vertical mixing; partially mixed; James River; TKE dissipation; near-surface
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 27 Jan 2016 13:49 +0 (UTC)

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