Residual circulation patterns in a channel network that is tidally driven from entrances on opposite sides are controlled by the temporal phasing and spatial asymmetry of the two forcing tides. The Napa/Sonoma Marsh Complex in San Francisco Bay, CA, is such a system. A sill on the west entrance to the system prevents a complete tidal range at spring tides that results in tidal truncation of water levels. Tidal truncation does not occur on the east side but asymmetries develop due to friction and off-channel wetland storage. The east and west asymmetric tides meet in the middle to produce a barotropic convergence zone that controls the transport of water and sediment. During spring tides, tidally averaged water-surface elevations are higher on the truncated west side. This creates tidally averaged fluxes of water and sediment to the east. During neap tides, the water levels are not truncated and the propagation speed of the tides controls residual circulation, creating a tidally averaged flux in the opposite direction. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Tidal truncation and barotropic convergence in a channel network tidally driven from opposing entrances