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Title: Tidal Residual Eddies and their Effect on Water Exchange in Puget Sound

Tidal residual eddies are one of the important hydrodynamic features in tidally dominant estuaries and coastal bays, and they could have significant effects on water exchange in a tidal system. This paper presents a modeling study of tides and tidal residual eddies in Puget Sound, a tidally dominant fjord-like estuary in the Pacific Northwest coast, using a three-dimensional finite-volume coastal ocean model. Mechanisms of vorticity generation and asymmetric distribution patterns around an island/headland were analyzed using the dynamic vorticity transfer approach and numerical experiments. Model results of Puget Sound show that a number of large twin tidal residual eddies exist in the Admiralty Inlet because of the presence of major headlands in the inlet. Simulated residual vorticities near the major headlands indicate that the clockwise tidal residual eddy (negative vorticity) is generally stronger than the anticlockwise eddy (positive vorticity) because of the effect of Coriolis force. The effect of tidal residual eddies on water exchange in Puget Sound and its sub-basins were evaluated by simulations of dye transport. It was found that the strong transverse variability of residual currents in the Admiralty Inlet results in a dominant seaward transport along the eastern shore and a dominant landward transport along themore » western shore of the Inlet. A similar transport pattern in Hood Canal is caused by the presence of tidal residual eddies near the entrance of the canal. Model results show that tidal residual currents in Whidbey Basin are small in comparison to other sub-basins. A large clockwise residual circulation is formed around Vashon Island near entrance of South Sound, which can potentially constrain the water exchange between the Central Basin and South Sound.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Ocean Dynamics, 63(8):995-1009
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
tidal residual eddy, vorticity, headland, Puget Sound, modeling