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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse6020065

Exchange Flow Variability between Hypersaline Shark Bay and the Ocean

1
Oceans Graduate School & the UWA Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia, Crawley 6009, Australia
2
Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, 21000 Split, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Oceanography)
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Abstract

In Shark Bay, a large hypersaline bay in Western Australia, longitudinal density gradients force gravitational circulation that is important for Bay-ocean exchange. First-time observations of vertical stratification and velocity are presented, confirming the presence of a steady, near-bed dense water outflow from Shark Bay’s northern Geographe Channel that persisted through all stages of the tide. Outflow velocities were 2–3 times stronger than the outflows recorded previously in Naturaliste Channel (in the west), and were more resistant to breakdown by tidal mixing. Estimates of turbulent kinetic energy production derived from the variance method showed a more complex structure in the Geographe Channel, due to shear between surface and bottom layers. Turbulence varied between flood and ebb tide, with peak levels of turbulence occurring during reversal of tidal flows. For both channels, the main source of turbulence was tidal flow along the seabed, with the bottom current speed cubed, |Ub3|, providing a reasonable proxy for tidal mixing and prediction of dense water outflows from Shark Bay majority of the time. Orientation and deeper water of the Geographe Channel along the main axis of the longitudinal density gradient provided an explanation for the predominant outflow from the Bay’s northern entrance. These density-driven currents could potentially influence recruitment of commercially fished scallops and prawns through the dispersal and flushing of larvae. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypersaline bay; circulation; turbulent mixing; exchange flow; Australia; Shark Bay hypersaline bay; circulation; turbulent mixing; exchange flow; Australia; Shark Bay
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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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Hetzel, Y.; Pattiaratchi, C.; Mihanović, H. Exchange Flow Variability between Hypersaline Shark Bay and the Ocean. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 65.

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