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Bathymetric influences on the lower Chesapeake Bay hydrography
Valle-Levinson, A.; Lwiza, K.M.M. (1997). Bathymetric influences on the lower Chesapeake Bay hydrography, in: Ruddick, K. Processes in regions of freshwater influence (PROFILE): selected papers from the 27th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, held in Liège, Belgium, on May 8-12, 1995. Journal of Marine Systems, 12(Special Issue 1-4): pp. 221-236
In: Ruddick, K. (1997). Processes in regions of freshwater influence (PROFILE): selected papers from the 27th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, held in Liège, Belgium, on May 8-12, 1995. Journal of Marine Systems, 12(Special Issue 1-4). Elsevier: The Netherlands. 1-326 pp., more
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Valle-Levinson, A.
  • Lwiza, K.M.M.

Abstract
    Observations of salinity and density in the lower Chesapeake Bay are used to describe the bathymetric influence on the transverse hydrographic structure in the area. Current velocity observations of high spatial resolution are also used to relate the flow structure to the hydrographic structure. Tidal flow characteristics in the lower bay are affected by the combination of bathymetry and hydrography. Increased stratification over channels relative to shoals may increase M2 ellipticity with depth over channels but not over shoals. It is found that three consistent hydrographie features can be related to the transverse structure of the longitudinal flow: (1) persistent stratification over channels due to differential tidal advection of density gradients, (2) development of bottom front separating net inflows from net outflows at the region south of Chesapeake Channel, and (3) outflow of low salinity water at the northern end of a lower bay section. Based on these hydrographie features, two basic hydrographic regimes are proposed to exist throughout the year in the lower Chesapeake Bay: (1) a low buoyancy-high mixing energy regime of stratification restricted to channels, a northward monotonical increase in salinity, and a weak bottom front, and (2) a high buoyancy-weak mixing energy regime of stratified conditions everywhere, a large region of northward salinity decrease at the northern half of the section, and a robust bottom front. The dynamics in the transverse direction for the former regime is ageostrophic, and in the latter regime the contribution by geostrophy is approximately 50% as bathymetric influences become less evident.

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