Energy dissipation in a tidal estuary Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6q182p13d

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  • The extent and mechanism of energy dissipation has been studied in Coos Bay, a coastal plain estuary. Coos Bay is located on the central Oregon coast, 184 nautical miles south of Astoria, Oregon, and 35 nautical miles north of Cape Blanco. Past field work in Coos Bay and data obtained for this study are presented and summarized. These investigations include temperature, salinity, and current measurements, as well as tidal observations. The circulation patterns observed in Coos Bay throughout the year have been analyzed, and Coos Bay has been classified as a well-mixed coastal plain estuary. The dynamics of the estuarine system have been investigated, and integrals of the equations of motion and continuity have been evaluated to show the magnitude of advection and diffusion in the estuary. The tide in Coos Bay has been shown to be a damped semi-diurnal wave. Energy flow in the estuary has been followed from the energy source in the tides, through stages of turbulence, to final dissipation by viscosity into heat. The energy required to provide the observed mixing and increase of potential energy in the estuary has been observed and measured and compared with the source energy and energy lost through viscous dissipation. A dissipation constant of 2.5 has been calculated for the incoming tidal wave as an index of the mean rate at which energy is extracted from the tidal motion into turbulent motion. The turbulent energy distribution has been represented as a function of eddy size. The turbulent energy spectrum has been obtained in Coos Bay from observed tidal velocities. The amounts of energy involved in mixing and turbulent dissipation have been compared with each other and with the rate of tidal energy dissipation and viscous dissipation. Most of the tidal energy is lost directly into heat. The dissipation rate in Coos Bay was measured at 10^-4 watts per kilogram. This value compares well with values determined by other investigators.
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