The effect of Stokes drift and transient rip currents on the inner shelf. Part i: No stratification

TitleThe effect of Stokes drift and transient rip currents on the inner shelf. Part i: No stratification
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKumar N., Feddersen F
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Volume47
Pagination227-241
Date Published2017/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-3670
Accession NumberWOS:000393300700014
Keywords3rd-generation wave model; circulation; coastal regions; continental-shelf; driven; equations; larval; surf-zone; transport; undertow; wind
Abstract

This is part one of a two-part study focused on Stokes drift and transient rip current (TRC) effects on the unstratified (this paper) and stratified (see Part II) inner shelf. A TRC-generating, wave-resolving model funwaveC is coupled to the 3D, wave-averaged wave and circulation model Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave- Sediment Transport (COAWST). Two simulations (R1 and R2) are performed on an unstratified inner shelf and surfzone with typical bathymetry and wave conditions. R1 is a COAWST-only simulation (no TRCs), while R2 has funwaveC-COAWST coupling (with TRCs). R2 and funwaveC vertical vorticity (eddy) statistics are similar, indicating that the model coupling accurately generates TRCs, with TRC-induced eddies out to four surfzone widths offshore. R1 has a two-layered, inner-shelf-to-surfzone-connected, mean Lagrangian circulation, while R2 has separate inner shelf and surfzone circulation cells. The R2, TRC-induced, cross-shore and vertical eddy velocities are stronger than the R1 or R2 mean Lagrangian velocity out to four surfzone widths offshore. The R2, inner-shelf, mean, vertical eddy diffusivity is an order of magnitude larger than R1 out to four surfzone widths offshore. Both R1 and R2 are in a Stokes-Coriolis balance at six surfzone widths offshore, as is R1 at three surfzone widths offshore. For R2, TRC-induced horizontal advection and vertical mixing dominate the cross-shore momentum dynamics at three surfzone widths offshore. The R2 surfzone and inner-shelf cross-shore exchange velocity is 2-10 times larger for R1 because of the TRC-induced stirring. Accurate, unstratified, inner-shelf simulations of pollution, larval, or sediment transport must include transient rip currents. In Part II, the effects of Stokes drift and TRCs on the stratified inner shelf are examined.

DOI10.1175/jpo-d-16-0076.1
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