Article

Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 219-240

First online:

Dissipation of Tidal Energy and Associated Mixing in a Wide Fjord

  • Mark E. InallAffiliated withDunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute, Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • , Tom P. RippethAffiliated withSchool of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales Bangor

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Abstract

This paper sets out to test the hypothesis that vertical mixing due to the dissipation of the internal tide accounts for a significant proportion of the total vertical mixing in a fjordic basin during a period of deep water isolation. During July and August 1999 two locations in the Clyde Sea were instrumented with moored RD Instruments Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) and conductivity-temperature-pressure chains: Station C2, near the shallow entrance sill (55 m water depth), and station C1 in the deep basin (155 m water depth). A bottom pressure recorder was also deployed at station C3 by the seaward entrance to the Clyde Sea in the North Channel of the Irish Sea. A Free-falling Light Yo-yo shear microstructure profiler (FLY) was used to measure the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) throughout the water column over 25 h at both C1 and C2. These were interspersed with two-hourly conductivity-temperature-depth casts at both sites. The observations show agreement between the dissipation rate of TKE estimated by using a microstructure profiler and that estimated from the decay of the internal tide as measured by the two ADCPs. However, to account for all the implied mixing it is necessary to invoke an additional source of buoyancy flux, the most probable candidate mechanism is enhanced internal wave breaking near the sill and at the sloping boundaries of the deep basin. In addition, the vertical eddy diffusivity estimated from the micro-structure profiler (O(0.5 cm2 s−1) indicates that internal tide induced mixing away from any boundaries contributed significantly to the overall level of mixing which is required to account for the observed evolution of the deep basin water properties.

dissipation fjords internal tides mixing sealochs tides