The effect of Stokes drift and transient rip currents on the inner shelf. Part ii: With stratification

TitleThe effect of Stokes drift and transient rip currents on the inner shelf. Part ii: With stratification
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKumar N., Feddersen F
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Date Published2017/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-3670
Accession NumberWOS:000393300700015
Keywordscalifornia; continental-shelf; driven; flow; langmuir turbulence; shallow-water; transport; waves; wind

This is Part II of a two-part study focused on Stokes drift and transient rip current (TRC) effects on the unstratified (Part I) and stratified (this paper) inner shelf. Part I focuses on funwaveC-Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere- Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) coupling and TRC effects on mixing and exchange on an unstratified inner shelf. Here, two simulations (R3 and R4) are performed on a stratified inner shelf and surfzone with typical bathymetry, stratification, and wave conditions. R3 is a COAWST-only simulation (no TRCs), while R4 has funwaveC-COAWST coupling (with TRCs). In R4, TRCs lead to patchy, near-surface cooling, vertical isotherm displacement, and increased water column mixing. For both R3 and R4, the mean Lagrangian circulation has two nearly isolated surfzones and inner-shelf overturning circulation cells, with a stronger, R4, inner-shelf circulation cell. The R4, inner-shelf, vertical velocity variability is 2-3 times stronger than a simulation with TRCs and no stratification. Relative to R3, R4 eddy diffusivity is strongly elevated out to three surfzone widths offshore due to TRCs and TRC-induced density overturns. The R4 inner-shelf stratification is reduced nearshore, and mean isotherms slope more strongly than R3 because of the TRC-enhanced irreversible mixing. At six surfzone widths offshore, both R3 and R4 are in geostrophic balance, explaining the stratified (summertime) observed deviation from Stokes-Coriolis balance. In this region, baroclinic pressure gradients induced by sloping isotherms induce an alongshore geostrophic jet offshore, strongest in R4. In R4, TRCs result in an enhanced (2-10 times) cross-shore exchange velocity across the entire inner shelf, relative to R3. Accurate, stratified, inner-shelf simulations of pollution, larval, or sediment transport must include transient rip currents.

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