Transport in the Hudson estuary

A modeling study of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping

Ferdi L. Hellweger, Alan F. Blumberg, Peter Schlosser, David T. Ho, Theodore Caplow, Upmanu Lall, Honghai Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping on transport in the Hudson estuary were investigated by a large-scale, high-resolution numerical model simulation of a tracer release. The modeled and measured longitudinal profiles of surface tracer concentrations (plumes) differ from the ideal Gaussian shape in two ways: on a large scale the plume is asymmetric with the downstream end stretching out farther, and small-scale (1-2 km) peaks are present at the upstream and downstream ends of the plume. A number of diagnostic model simulations (e.g., remove freshwater flow) were performed to understand the processes responsible for these features. These simulations show that the large-scale asymmetry is related to salinity. The salt causes an estuarine circulation that decreases vertical mixing (vertical density gradient), increases longitudinal dispersion (increased vertical and lateral gradients in longitudinal velocities), and increases net downstream velocities in the surface layer. Since salinity intrusion is confined to the downstream end of the tracer plume, only that part of the plume is effected by those processes, which leads to the largescale asymmetry. The small-scale peaks are due to tidal trapping. Small embayments along the estuary trap water and tracer as the plume passes by in the main channel. When the plume in the main channel has passed, the tracer is released back to the main channel, causing a secondary peak in the longitudinal profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-538
Number of pages12
JournalEstuaries
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Estuaries
trapping
tracer techniques
estuaries
plume
estuary
tracer
Stretching
modeling
Numerical models
Salts
simulation models
Water
water traps
salinity
asymmetry
simulation
vertical mixing
salts
surface layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Hellweger, F. L., Blumberg, A. F., Schlosser, P., Ho, D. T., Caplow, T., Lall, U., & Li, H. (2004). Transport in the Hudson estuary: A modeling study of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping. Estuaries, 27(3), 527-538. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02803544

Transport in the Hudson estuary : A modeling study of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping. / Hellweger, Ferdi L.; Blumberg, Alan F.; Schlosser, Peter; Ho, David T.; Caplow, Theodore; Lall, Upmanu; Li, Honghai.

In: Estuaries, Vol. 27, No. 3, 01.01.2004, p. 527-538.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hellweger, FL, Blumberg, AF, Schlosser, P, Ho, DT, Caplow, T, Lall, U & Li, H 2004, 'Transport in the Hudson estuary: A modeling study of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping', Estuaries, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 527-538. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02803544
Hellweger, Ferdi L. ; Blumberg, Alan F. ; Schlosser, Peter ; Ho, David T. ; Caplow, Theodore ; Lall, Upmanu ; Li, Honghai. / Transport in the Hudson estuary : A modeling study of estuarine circulation and tidal trapping. In: Estuaries. 2004 ; Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 527-538.
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