Bulge formation of a buoyant river outflow

Robert Chant, Scott Glenn, Elias Hunter, Joshua Kohut, Robert F. Chen, Robert W. Houghton, Jen Bosch, Oscar Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observations taken during the Lagrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE) in 2005 indicated that the Hudson's river outflow formed a bulge of recirculating fluid that limits the volume of fresh water that is advected away in a coastal current. Focusing on an event that began with downwelling winds we made estimates of the freshwater flux in the coastal current and the fresh water inventory of the bulge. The coastal current was characterized by a surface advected plume in thermal wind balance. However, the freshwater transport in the coastal current was less than 1/2 of the total freshwater outflow. The bulge extended 30 km from the coast and 40 km in the along-shore direction and was evident in ocean color imagery. Recirculation in the bulge region was also apparent in daily averaged surface current radar data, but this flow pattern was obscured in the hourly data by tidal and wind-forcing even in the diurnal band. Nevertheless, many aspects of the Hudson's outflow are consistent with recent laboratory experiments and numerical simulations of buoyant discharges. The growing bulge transports the river's outflow to the head of the Hudson shelf valley where it crosses the 50 m isobath. Previous work in this region indicates that frontal features reside along this isobath. We observed fresh water being transported along this isobath and is suggestive of a rapid cross-shelf transport pathway for fresh water. Both the bulge formation and cross-shelf transport have significant biogeochemical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC01017
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume113
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 8 2008

Fingerprint

coastal currents
fresh water
coastal current
rivers
outflow
Rivers
shelves
water currents
Water
river
Hudson River (NY-NJ)
frontal feature
water
ocean color
radar data
wind forcing
downwelling
coasts
imagery
Discharge (fluid mechanics)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

Chant, Robert ; Glenn, Scott ; Hunter, Elias ; Kohut, Joshua ; Chen, Robert F. ; Houghton, Robert W. ; Bosch, Jen ; Schofield, Oscar. / Bulge formation of a buoyant river outflow. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2008 ; Vol. 113, No. 1.
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Bulge formation of a buoyant river outflow. / Chant, Robert; Glenn, Scott; Hunter, Elias; Kohut, Joshua; Chen, Robert F.; Houghton, Robert W.; Bosch, Jen; Schofield, Oscar.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 113, No. 1, C01017, 08.01.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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