Circulation, mixing, and transport in nearshore Lake Erie in the vicinity of Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Creek, Cleveland, Ohio, September 11-12, 2012

Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5198

Prepared in cooperation with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
DOI: 10.3133/sir20135198



Villa Angela Beach, on the Lake Erie lakeshore near Cleveland, Ohio, is adjacent to the mouth of Euclid Creek, a small, flashy stream draining approximately 23 square miles and susceptible to periodic contamination from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) (97 and 163 CSO events in 2010 and 2011, respectively). Concerns over high concentrations of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in water samples taken along this beach and frequent beach closures led to the collection of synoptic data in the nearshore area in an attempt to gain insights into mixing processes, circulation, and the potential for transport of bacteria and other CSO-related pollutants from various sources in Euclid Creek and along the lakefront. An integrated synoptic survey was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey on September 11–12, 2012, during low-flow conditions on Euclid Creek, which followed rain-induced high flows in the creek on September 8–9, 2012. Data-collection methods included deployment of an autonomous underwater vehicle and use of a manned boat equipped with an acoustic Doppler current profiler. Spatial distributions of water-quality measures and nearshore currents indicated that the mixing zone encompassing the mouth of Euclid Creek and Villa Angela Beach is dynamic and highly variable in extent, but can exhibit a large zone of recirculation that can, at times, be decoupled from local wind forcing. Observed circulation patterns during September 2012 indicated that pollutants from CSOs in Euclid Creek and water discharged from three shoreline CSO points within 2,000 feet of the beach could be trapped along Villa Angela Beach by interaction of nearshore currents and shoreline structures. In spite of observed coastal downwelling, denser water from Euclid Creek is shown to mix to the surface via offshore turbulent structures that span the full depth of flow. While the southwesterly longshore currents driving the recirculation pattern along the beach front were observed during the 2011–12 synoptic surveys, longshore currents with a southwesterly component capable of establishing the recirculation only occurred about 30 percent of the time from June 7 to October 6, 2012, based on continuous velocity data collected near Villa Angela Beach.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Circulation, mixing, and transport in nearshore Lake Erie in the vicinity of Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Creek, Cleveland, Ohio, September 11-12, 2012
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Illinois Water Science Center
viii, 34 p.
United States
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