Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 62, Issue 7, pp 1017–1042 | Cite as

Influence of sea surface wind wave turbulence upon wind-induced circulation, tide–surge interaction and bed stress

  • Jiuxing Xing
  • Alan M. Davies
  • John Eric Jones
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 3rd International Workshop on Modelling the Ocean 2011


A three-dimensional finite volume unstructured mesh model of the west coast of Britain, with high resolution in the coastal regions, is used to investigate the role of wind wave turbulence and wind and tide forced currents in producing maximum bed stress in the eastern Irish Sea. The spatial distribution of the maximum bed stress, which is important in sediment transport problems, is determined, together with how it is modified by the direction of wind forced currents, tide–surge interaction and a surface source of wind wave turbulence associated with wave breaking. Initial calculations show that to first order the distribution of maximum bed stress is determined by the tide. However, since maximum sediment transport occurs at times of episodic events, such as storm surges, their effects upon maximum bed stresses are examined for the case of strong northerly, southerly and westerly wind forcing. Calculations show that due to tide–surge interaction both the tidal distribution and the surge are modified by non-linear effects. Consequently, the magnitude and spatial distribution of maximum bed stress during major wind events depends upon wind direction. In addition calculations show that a surface source of turbulence due to wind wave breaking in shallow water can influence the maximum bed stress. In turn, this influences the wind forced flow and hence the movement of suspended sediment. Calculations of the spatial variability of maximum bed stress indicate the level of measurements required for model validation.


Circulation Tide–surge interaction Bed stress Modelling Irish Sea 



The authors are indebted to the FVCOM group for making their code available to us. Valuable comments by anonymous referees are very much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiuxing Xing
    • 1
  • Alan M. Davies
    • 1
  • John Eric Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.National Oceanography CentreLiverpoolUK

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