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Coastal and Estuarine Studies



  • Estuarine oceanography—Congresses
  • Coasts—Congresses



Dispersion in tidally-averaged transport equation

R. T. Cheng and V. Casulli

A general governing inter-tidal transport equation for conservative solutes has been derived without invoking the weakly nonlinear approximation. The governing inter-tidal transport equation is a convection-dispersion equation in which the convective velocity is a mean Lagrangian residual current, and the inter-tidal dispersion coefficient is defined by a dispersion patch. When the weakly nonlinear condition is violated, the physical significance of the Stokes' drift, as used in tidal dynamics, becomes questionable. For nonlinear problems, analytical solutions for the mean Lagrangian residual current and for the inter-tidal dispersion coefficient do not exist, they must be determined numerically. A rectangular tidal inlet with a constriction is used in the first example. The solutions of the residual currents and the computed properties of the inter-tidal dispersion coefficient are used to illuminate the mechanisms of the inter-tidal transport processes. Then, the present formulation is tested in a geometrically complex tidal estuary – San Francisco Bay, California. The computed inter-tidal dispersion coefficients are in the range between 5×104 and 5×106 cm2/sec., which are consistent with the values reported in the literature

Citation: Cheng, R. T., and V. Casulli (1992), Dispersion in tidally-averaged transport equation, in Dynamics and Exchanges in Estuaries and the Coastal Zone, Coastal Estuarine Stud., vol. 40, edited by D. Prandle, pp. 409–428, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/CE040p0409.

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