Intratidal and spatial variability over a slope in the Ems estuary: Robust along-channel SPM transport versus episodic events

Kirstin Schulz, Hans Burchard, Volker Mohrholz, Peter Holtermann, Henk M. Schuttelaars, Marius Becker, Christian Maushake, Theo Gerkema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Results from measurements are presented that were collected during a full tidal cycle in the Ems estuary, involving two landers and an anchored research vessel. The conditions were characterized by very weak winds, no wave effects, and low river run-off, so that the state was close to tide-only. We find that the lateral (i.e., cross-slope) transport of water and suspended particulate matter (SPM) much of the time shows a vertically layered structure, which is however subject to sudden transitions. Moreover, even on the small spatial scale of these measurements (i.e., within a distance of 200 m), a strong lateral variability is observed in the circulation patterns. We analyze its dynamics by means of dimensionless parameters. In addition, near-bottom peaks in SPM concentration are observed, notably during early flood. However, these episodic events have little effect on the overall transport of SPM, which involves the whole water column: the measurements show a high vertically integrated SPM signal during late ebb, resulting in an ebb-dominance in the transport at this position in the tidal channel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106902
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume243
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • EDoM18
  • Ems estuary
  • Lateral circulation
  • SPM transport

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