Internal hydraulics and mixing in a highly stratified estuary

Robert J. Chant, Robert E. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler and conductivity-temperature-depth data obtained during highly stratified conditions in the Hudson River estuary along a section of variable width and breadth are presented. The observations emphasize tidal period asymmetries in the vertical structure of current and salinity. However, these asymmetries exhibit significant along-channel structure which is determined by channel morphology. During the ebb the flow is linearly sheared, and steep halocline slopes in the vicinity of channel contractions are maintained by momentum advection. A minimum in vertical shear across the pycnocline occurs in channel contractions. During food the pycnocline sharpens and flattens with a middepth velocity maximum embedded in the pycnocline which separates a stratified surface layer from a bottom mixed layer. The along-channel structure in vertical shear is consistent with a lateral vorticity equation. Estimates of Richardson numbers suggest that vertical mixing across the pycnocline is enhanced downstream of channel contractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000JC900049
Pages (from-to)14215-14222
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC6
StatePublished - Jun 15 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography

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