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Capturing the residence time boundary layer—application to the Scheldt Estuary
Blaise, S.; de Brye, B.; de Brauwere, A.; Deleersnijder, E.; Delhez, E.J.M.; Comblen, R. (2010). Capturing the residence time boundary layer—application to the Scheldt Estuary. Ocean Dynamics 60(3): 535-554.
In: Ocean Dynamics. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg; New York. ISSN 1616-7341, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280263 [ OMA ]

    Marine; Brackish water
Author keywords
    Residence time; Boundary layer; Parameterisation; X-FEM; Finite elements; Diagnostic; Adjoint modelling; Local consistency

Authors  Top 
  • Deleersnijder, E., more
  • Delhez, E.J.M., more
  • Comblen, R., more

    At high Peclet number, the residence time exhibits a boundary layer adjacent to incoming open boundaries. In a Eulerian model, not resolving this boundary layer can generate spurious oscillations that can propagate into the area of interest. However, resolving this boundary layer would require an unacceptably high spatial resolution. Therefore, alternative methods are needed in which no grid refinement is required to capture the key aspects of the physics of the residence time boundary layer. An extended finite element method representation and a boundary layer parameterisation are presented and tested herein. It is also explained how to preserve local consistency in reversed time simulations so as to avoid the generation of spurious residence time extrema. Finally, the boundary layer parameterisation is applied to the computation of the residence time in the Scheldt Estuary (Belgium/The Netherlands). This timescale is simulated by means of a depth-integrated, finite element, unstructured mesh model, with a high space–time resolution. It is seen that the residence time temporal variations are mainly affected by the semi-diurnal tides. However, the spring–neap variability also impacts the residence time, particularly in the sandbank and shallow areas. Seasonal variability is also observed, which is induced by the fluctuations over the year of the upstream flows. In general, the residence time is an increasing function of the distance to the mouth of the estuary. However, smaller-scale fluctuations are also present: they are caused by local bathymetric features and their impact on the hydrodynamics.

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