Numerical simulation of tidal dispersion around a coastal headland

By:  and 
Edited by: Ralph T. Cheng



Tidal flows around headlands can exhibit strong spatial gradients in the Eulerian currents, resulting in complex Lagrangian trajectories and dispersion of the vertically integrated flow. This typically occurs when the horizontal length scale of the headland is comparable to or smaller than the tidal excursion. The effects of these headlands on dispersion are investigated using a depthaveraged hydrodynamic model combined with a particle tracking model. The dispersion of patches of fluid is found to vary by more than an order of magnitude, depending both on position and tidal phase at the time of release. This is due to the infrequent interaction of material with the strongly sheared flow at the tip of the headland, where flow separation occurs during times of maximum tidal flow. Spreading of these patches over many tidal cycles is not Gaussian, but rather shows a patchy, streaky structure.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Numerical simulation of tidal dispersion around a coastal headland
DOI 10.1029/CE038p0210
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Residual Currents and Long-Term Transport
First page 210
Last page 222