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Seasonal and spring-neap tidal dependence of axial dispersion coefficients in the Severn - A wide, vertically mixed estuary
Uncles, R.J.; Radford, P.J. (1980). Seasonal and spring-neap tidal dependence of axial dispersion coefficients in the Severn - A wide, vertically mixed estuary. J. Fluid Mech. 98(4): 703-726
In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Cambridge University Press: London. ISSN 0022-1120, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Neap tides; Salt budget; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Uncles, R.J., more
  • Radford, P.J.

Abstract
    Results are presented of a simplified description of the seasonal and spring-neap tidal dependence of the axial dispersion coefficients in the Severn Estuary. The coefficients are derived from salt budget calculations, which are based on 29 sets of observations of the axial salinity distributions in the estuary during 1971-1976. Regression analyses of the salinity distributions determine simple linear and logarithmic relationships for the dispersion coefficients in terms of tidal range and the total rate of input of fresh water to the estuary, the appropriate averaging periods for the freshwater inputs being computed as part of the analyses.The results show that the coefficients generally increase with increasing run-off, and, away from the mouth, depend upon the tidal range, showing a small decrease with increasing tidal range in the seaward part of the estuary, and a large increase with increasing tidal range towards the head. The yearly averaged coefficients lie in the order-of-magnitude range 102-103 m2s−1, with the larger values occurring near the head.The computed dispersion coefficients are applied to calculations of the seasonal dependence of residence times, the results being expressed as functions of axial distance along the estuary. It is shown that the residence time of the whole estuary varies from roughly 100 days during winter conditions to 200 days during summer conditions, and that the residence time landward of a particular section decreases rapidly as the section taken approaches the head of the estuary.

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