A field investigation of the hydrodynamics and the resuspension and transport of participate matter in a bottom boundary layer was carried out in South San Francisco Bay (South Bay), California, during March-April 1995. Using broadband acoustic Doppler current profilers, detailed measurements of turbulent mean velocity distribution within 1.5 m above bed have been obtained. A global method of data analysis was used for estimating bottom roughness length zo and bottom shear stress (or friction velocities u*). Field data have been examined by dividing the time series of velocity profiles into 24-hour periods and independently analyzing the velocity profile time series by flooding and ebbing periods. The global method of solution gives consistent properties of bottom roughness length zo and bottom shear stress values (or friction velocities u*) in South Bay. Estimated mean values of zo and u* for flooding and ebbing cycles are different. The differences in mean zo and u* are shown to be caused by tidal current flood-ebb inequality, rather than the flooding or ebbing of tidal currents. The bed shear stress correlates well with a reference velocity; the slope of the correlation defines a drag coefficient. Forty-three days of field data in South Bay show two regimes of zo (and drag coefficient) as a function of a reference velocity. When the mean velocity is >25-30 cm s-1, the ln zo (and thus the drag coefficient) is inversely proportional to the reference velocity. The cause for the reduction of roughness length is hypothesized as sediment erosion due to intensifying tidal currents thereby reducing bed roughness. When the mean velocity is <25-30 cm s-1, the correlation between zo and the reference velocity is less clear. A plausible explanation of scattered values of zo under this condition may be sediment deposition. Measured sediment data were inadequate to support this hypothesis, but the proposed hypothesis warrants further field investigation.
Additional publication details
Estimates of bottom roughness length and bottom shear stress in South San Francisco Bay, California