Slope-induced tidal straining: Analysis of rotational effects

Kirstin Schulz, Takahiro Endoh, Lars Umlauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tidal straining is known to be an important factor for the generation of residual currents and transports of suspended matter in the coastal ocean. Recent modeling studies and field experiments have revealed a new type of “slope-induced” tidal straining, in which the horizontal density gradient required for this process is induced by the presence of a slope rather than by river runoff (as in classical tidal straining). Slope-induced tidal straining is investigated here with the help of an idealized numerical model, and results are compared to a recent data set from the East China Sea providing first direct observational evidence. The focus of this study is on the effect of rotation that was ignored in previous investigations. The model is shown to reproduce the key features of the observations, in particular the strain-induced generation of unstable stratification in the bottom boundary layer during periods of upslope flow. Rotation effects are found to significantly reduce the upslope tidal pumping of suspended material and also give rise to a newly identified pumping mechanism that results in a vigorous transport of suspended material along the slope. It is shown that slope-induced tidal straining is likely to be relevant for a wide range of oceanic slopes exposed to tidal motions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2069-2089
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume122
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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