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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5(4), 47; doi:10.3390/jmse5040047

Wind-Driven Overturning, Mixing and Upwelling in Shallow Water: A Nonhydrostatic Modeling Study

College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Against Gravity: Upwelling in Shallow Waters)
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Abstract

Using a nonhydrostatic numerical model, this work demonstrates that onshore winds are a principal agent of overturning and vigorous vertical mixing in nearshore water of lakes and inner continental shelves. On short (superinertial) timescales of a few hours, onshore winds create surface currents pushing water against the shore which, via the associated pressure gradient force, creates an undercurrent. The resulting overturning circulation rapidly becomes dynamically unstable due to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability mechanism, internal gravity waves form, and vigorous vertical mixing follows. The vertical extent of the overturning cell depends on the speed of surface currents and density stratification (which is influenced by other processes such as tidal mixing). In smaller enclosed water bodies, wave reflection in conjunction with dynamical instabilities support rapid mixed-layer deepening and overturning of the entire water column. Based on these findings, the author postulates that dynamic instabilities following from onshore wind events are of fundamental importance to biogeochemical cycles and ecological processes in shelf seas and lakes. View Full-Text
Keywords: oceanography; limnology; vertical mixing; overturning; upwelling; shallow water; nonhydrostatic modelling oceanography; limnology; vertical mixing; overturning; upwelling; shallow water; nonhydrostatic modelling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kämpf, J. Wind-Driven Overturning, Mixing and Upwelling in Shallow Water: A Nonhydrostatic Modeling Study. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 47.

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