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Water circulation in Southampton Water and the Solent
Sharples, J. (2000). Water circulation in Southampton Water and the Solent, in: Collins, M. et al. (Ed.) Solent science: a review. Proceedings in Marine Science, 1: pp. 45-53
In: Collins, M.; Ansell, K. (Ed.) (2000). Solent science: a review. Proceedings in Marine Science, 1. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-50465-6. 385 pp., more
In: Proceedings in Marine Science. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 1568-2692, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Sharples, J.

    This paper has described some, although by no means all, of the known process controlling water movement in Southampton Water and the Solent. It should be remembered that other processes are likely to be operating (for instance, wind-driven flows or the "Stokes drift," associated with waves in shallow water), but only those for which some observational support have been described. It has been emphasised throughout that, in attempting to understand processes, a key consideration is the time-scale over which you wish to predict water movements. From the navigational and search-and-rescue standpoints, it is important to have some understanding of the change in currents over time-scales of a few hours, when the flow is dominated by the tides. From the point of view of an interest in effluent disposal, then knowledge of net transport over several days may be of more concern; in the latter case, the residual flows will be more important. In summary, observations and predictions from numerical models need to take into account all of the processes that are known to be acting, on the time-scale of interest. This brief description illustrates a good understanding of the general mechanisms driving water movements, on the basis of estuarine processes. The development of high-resolution numerical models will undoubtedly result in a better ability to predict tidal flows; likewise, some observational data are able to provide tests of these predictions. Direct observation of the non-tidal residual flows is presently limited, although work is presently underway; this is aimed at quantifying the variability in these flows, both within single tidal cycles and on longer-time scales. Numerical modelling of these non-tidal flows represents a particular challenge.

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