Effects of surface waves on three-dimensional hydrodynamics of a tidal inlet: Energy transfer from waves to ocean

Monday, 15 December 2014
Saeed Moghimi1, H Tuba Ozkan-Haller1, James M Thomson2 and Seth Zippel3, (1)Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States, (2)Applied Physics Lab (UW), Seattle, WA, United States, (3)University of Washington APL, Seattle, WA, United States
The effect of the interaction between surface waves and tidal inlet circulation or river plumes on the full three dimensional (3D) circulation of the near-shore system is the main topic of this research. The process of wave breaking, either in deep or shallow waters, is followed by injection of turbulent kinetic energy into the underlying water column. This process modifies momentum eddy viscosity and tracer mixing properties. In this research we employed different two-equation one-dimensional vertical turbulence models to study breaking wave-induced turbulence for white-capping and depth-limited breaking cases. We used recent turbulence dissipation rate measurements using wave-following 'SWIFT' drifters at New River Inlet, North Carolina to verify the models. We improved our fully coupled 3D ocean-wave modelling system with new turbulence parameters and showed how the new turbulence characterizations could affect stratification and other plume properties in New River Inlet application.