The Effects of Wind, Runoff and Tides on Salinity in a Strongly Tidal Sub-estuary View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2011-01-28

AUTHORS

Reginald J. Uncles, John A. Stephens

ABSTRACT

Measurements over an annual cycle of longitudinal and vertical salinity distributions in a small sub-estuary, the Tavy Estuary, UK, are used to illustrate the dependence of salt intrusion and stratification on environmental variables. The interpretations are aided by vertical profiling and near-bed data recorded in the main channel and on the mudflats. Generally, high water (HW) salt intrusion at the bed is close to the tidal limit and is dominated by runoff and winds, with decreasing salt intrusion associated with increasing runoff and increasing up-estuary winds (or vice versa). Tidal effects are not statistically significant because of two compensating processes: the long tidal excursion, which is comparable with the sub-estuary length for all but the smallest neap tides, and the enhanced, near-bed, buoyancy-driven salt transport that occurs at small neap tides close to the limit of saline intrusion. The effect of wind on HW surface salt intrusion in the main channel is not statistically significant, partly because it is obscured by the opposing local and estuary-wide effects of an up-estuary or down-estuary wind stress. These processes are investigated using a simple tidal model that incorporates lateral, channel–mudflat bathymetry and reproduces, approximately, observed channel and mudflat velocities. Surface salinity at HW increases with tidal range because of enhanced spring-tide vertical mixing—a process that also reduces salinity stratification. Stratification increases with runoff because of increased buoyancy inputs and decreases with up-estuary winds because of reduced near-bed salt intrusion. Stratification and plume formation are interpreted in terms of the bulk and estuarine Richardson Numbers, and processes at the confluence of the sub-estuary and main estuary are described. More... »

PAGES

758-774

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s12237-010-9365-3

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12237-010-9365-3

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1018791324


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