A two-dimensional, time-dependent solution to the transport equation is formulated to account for advection and diffusion of sediment suspended in the bottom boundary layer of continental shelves. This model utilizes a semi-implicit, upwind-differencing scheme to solve the advection-diffusion equation across a two-dimensional transect that is configured so that one dimension is the vertical, and the other is a horizontal dimension usually aligned perpendicular to shelf bathymetry. The model calculates suspended sediment concentration and flux; and requires as input wave properties, current velocities, sediment size distributions, and hydrodynamic sediment properties. From the calculated two-dimensional suspended sediment fluxes, we quantify the redistribution of shelf sediment, bed erosion, and deposition for several sediment sizes during resuspension events. The two-dimensional, time-dependent approach directly accounts for cross-shelf gradients in bed shear stress and sediment properties, as well as transport that occurs before steady-state suspended sediment concentrations have been attained. By including the vertical dimension in the calculations, we avoid depth-averaging suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes, and directly account for differences in transport rates and directions for fine and coarse sediment in the bottom boundary layer. A flux condition is used as the bottom boundary condition for the transport equation in order to capture time-dependence of the suspended sediment field. Model calculations demonstrate the significance of both time-dependent and spatial terms on transport and depositional patterns on continental shelves. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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A two-dimensional, time-dependent model of suspended sediment transport and bed reworking for continental shelves