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Observations on the lateral structure of wind-driven flows in a stratified, semiarid bay of the Gulf of California

TitleObservations on the lateral structure of wind-driven flows in a stratified, semiarid bay of the Gulf of California
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWinant C., Valle-Levinson A., Ponte A., Winant C., Gutierrez-de-Velasco G., Winters K.
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Date Published2014/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1559-2723
Accession NumberWOS:000343722700002
Keywordscirculation; Concepcion Bay; estuaries; Semiarid; stratification; Wind-driven flow

Time series of current velocity profiles and thermistor chains were obtained throughout a cross-bay transect for similar to 90 days for the purpose of comparing observed wind-driven stratified flows to theory. This study concentrates on the synoptic scale wind and its influence on the bay's circulation. The maximum water column stratification was 3-4 A degrees C/m throughout the deployment and influenced wind-driven flows. Low-pass filtered flows showed more complicated structures than those expected from theory: a depth-dependent recirculating structure with the along-bay flow over one half of the transect moving in opposite direction to the other half. Analysis of complex empirical orthogonal functions indicated that the first six modes explained 80 % of the flow variability. Therefore, there was no predominantly energetic mode of variability. All modes exhibited a rich spatial structure with vertical and lateral variations. For all modes there was vertically sheared bidirectional flow, as expected from theory, with the largest eigenvector (mode value) asymmetrically influenced by Earth's rotation and advection of momentum.

Short TitleEstuaries Coasts
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