Cross-Shelf Transport Through the Interaction among a Coastal Jet, a Topographic Wave, and Tides
Shelf break flows are often characterized by along-isobath jets with cross-shelf currents associated with tides and waves guided by variable topography. Here, we address the question: Can a superposition of such flows produce significant aperiodic cross-shelf transport? To answer this question, we use a barotropic analytic model for the jet based on a similarity solution of the shallow water equations over variable topography, a wave disturbance determined by the topography, and a diurnal tidal disturbance. We use standard Lagrangian methods to assess the cross-shelf transport, presenting the results, however, in a Eulerian frame, so as to be amenable to oceanographic observations. The relative roles of the different flow components in cross-shelf transport are assessed through an extensive parameter study. We find that a superposition of all three flow components can indeed produce consequential background aperiodic transport. An application of the model using recent observations from the Texas Shelf demonstrates that a combination of these background mechanisms can produce significant transport under realistic conditions.
Huntley, Helga S., Charles W. McMahon, Joseph J. Kuehl, and A. D. Kirwan, Jr. 2020. "Cross-Shelf Transport Through the Interaction among a Coastal Jet, a Topographic Wave, and Tides" Fluids 5, no. 4: 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids5040181
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