Turbulence measurements in a small subtropical estuary under king tide conditions

Chanson, H., Brown, R.J., & Trevethan, M. (2012) Turbulence measurements in a small subtropical estuary under king tide conditions. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 12(3), pp. 265-289.

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Abstract

In natural waterways and estuaries, the understanding of turbulent mixing is critical to the knowledge of sediment transport, stormwater runoff during flood events, and release of nutrient-rich wastewater into ecosystems. In the present study, some field measurements were conducted in a small subtropical estuary with micro-tidal range and semi-diurnal tides during king tide conditions: i. e., the tidal range was the largest for both 2009 and 2010. The turbulent velocity measurements were performed continuously at high-frequency (50Hz) for 60 h. Two acoustic Doppler velocimeters (ADVs) were sampled simultaneously in the middle estuarine zone, and a third ADV was deployed in the upper estuary for 12 h only. The results provided an unique characterisation of the turbulence in both middle and upper estuarine zones under the king tide conditions. The present observations showed some marked differences between king tide and neap tide conditions. During the king tide conditions, the tidal forcing was the dominant water exchange and circulation mechanism in the estuary. In contrast, the long-term oscillations linked with internal and external resonance played a major role in the turbulent mixing during neap tides. The data set showed further that the upper estuarine zone was drastically less affected by the spring tide range: the flow motion remained slow, but the turbulent velocity data were affected by the propagation of a transient front during the very early flood tide motion at the sampling site. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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ID Code: 50635
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: No Correspondence Address: Chanson, H.; School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; email: h.chanson@uq.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Acoustic Doppler velocimetry, King tides, Micro-tidal estuary, Middle estuary, Small subtropical estuary, Transient front, Turbulence, Turbulent mixing, Upper estuary
DOI: 10.1007/s10652-011-9234-z
ISSN: 1573-1510 (online) 1567-7419 (print)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Deposited On: 28 May 2012 22:28
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2012 00:49

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