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Hydrodynamic states in a wind-driven microtidal estuary

AuthorsLlebot, Clara ; Rueda, Francisco J.; Solé, Jordi ; Artigas, Mireia L. ; Estrada, Marta
Issue Date23-Feb-2012
Citation2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Abstract book: 282 (2012)
AbstractA conceptual model of the physical behavior of a shallow microtidal estuary (Alfacs Bay) is built using scaling arguments, field data and three-dimensional simulations. At seasonal time scales the structure of the bay is controlled by freshwater inputs, which create a strongly stratified two-layer system. At shorter time scales wind strength governs the vertical stability. Three scenarios were defined based on the direction and intensity of the wind relative to the strength of the stratification. High Richardson numbers characterize scenario 1. Mixing occurs as a consequence of stirring, and the mixed layer deepens very slowly. When wind grows stronger Richardson numbers are low, the mixing is fast and occurs mainly because of shear at the pycnocline. Scenario 2 is characterized by strong persistent winds from NW that initially strengthen the estuarine circulation. In scenario 3 strong diurnal winds from SW weaken the estuarine circulation and occasionally reverse it. In both strong wind scenarios the wind overturns the stratification and generates horizontal gradients. These scenarios have important implications for the ecology of the bay, including the occurrence of harmful algal blooms
Description2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, 20-24 February 2012, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Publisher version (URL)http://www.sgmeet.com/osm2012/
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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