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Wind and tidal forcing of a buoyant plume, Mobile Bay, Alabama

Continental Shelf Research

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Abstract

AVHRR satellite imagery and in situ observations were combined to study the motion of a buoyant plume at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama. The plume extended up to 30 km from shore, with a thickness of about 1 m. The inner plume, which was 3-8 m thick, moved between the Bay and inner shelf in response to tidal forcing. The tidal prism could be identified through the movement of plume waters between satellite images. The plume responded rapidly to alongshore wind, with sections of the plume moving at speeds of more than 70 cm s-1, about 11% of the wind speed. The plume moved predominantly in the direction of the wind with a weak Ekman drift. The enhanced speed of the plume relative to normal surface drift is probably due to the strong stratification in the plume, which limits the transfer of momentum into the underlying ambient waters. ?? 1993.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Wind and tidal forcing of a buoyant plume, Mobile Bay, Alabama
Series title:
Continental Shelf Research
Volume
13
Issue:
11
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1281
Last page:
1301
Number of Pages:
21