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Fluxes to estuarine and coastal environments


Circulation on the New England inner shelf


Model domains and instrument locations on the New England Inner Shelf
Model domains and instrument locations on the New England inner shelf
Momentum balances from the nested 40-m simulations
Momentum balances from the nested 40-m resolution model
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Several studies have investigated circulation and sediment transport features south of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO), located in 12 m water depth approximately 1.5 km offshore, provides a platform for instrumentation and has allowed researchers to focus multiple efforts on the inner shelf. Studies of ripple formation, optical characteristics of seawater, and circulation have all used the MVCO as an operations base for power and data communication. These field campaigns allow for robust testing of hydrodynamic models and new techniques.

Major results

High-spatial resolution measurements of near-bed currents, shear stresses, and turbulence provided a data set for testing bottom-boundary layer routines in the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System (CSTMS). Ganju and Sherwood (2010) found that model performance varied with roughness parameterization, with the highest skill resulting from the use of a wave-current interaction routine that considered the wave boundary layer but not the roughness associated with sand ripples. Ganju et al. (2011), using the same model with four levels of grid nesting down to the finest scale of 40 m, found that the mean circulation near the MVCO was characterized by a large residual circulation driven by tidal rectification. The inner-shelf momentum balances demonstrated sensitivity to small-scale (~ 0.1 m) alongshore bathymetric features. 


Ganju, N.K., Lentz, S.J., Kirincich, A.R., and Farrar, J.T., 2011, Complex mean circulation over the Inner-Shelf south of Marthas Vineyard revealed by observations and a high resolution model, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, C10036, ddoi:10.1029/2011JC007035. PDF File

Ganju, N.K., and Sherwood, C.R., 2010, Effect of roughness formulation on the performance of a coupled wave, hydrodynamic, and sediment transport model. Ocean Modelling, 33, 299-313. PDF File

Kirincich, A.R., Lentz, S.J., Farrar, J.T., and Ganju, N.K., 2013, The spatial structure of tidal and mean circulation over the inner shelf south of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 43, 1940-2958. PDF File

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Page last modified: 12/28/2011