Estimate of Lagrangian Integral Scales in Shallow Tidal Water using High Resolution GPS-Tracked Drifters.

Kabir Suara, Richard Brown, Charles Wang, Michael Borgas, Yanming Feng

Wednesday 1 july 2015

11:00 - 11:15h at Amazon (level 1)

Themes: (T) Water engineering, (ST) River and coastal engineering

Parallel session: 9C. Coastal engineering

TIn estuaries and natural water channels, the estimate of velocity and dispersion coefficients is critical to the knowledge of scalar transport and mixing. This estimate is rarely available experimentally at sub-tidal time scale in shallow water channels where high frequency is required to capture its spatio-temporal variation. This study estimates Lagrangian integral scales and autocorrelation curves, which are key parameters for obtaining velocity fluctuations and dispersion coefficients, and their spatio-temporal variability from deployments of Lagrangian drifters sampled at 10 Hz for a 4-hour period. The power spectral densities of the velocities between 0.0001 and 0.8 Hz were well fitted with a slope of 5/3 predicted by Kolmogorov’s similarity hypothesis within the inertial subrange, and were similar to the Eulerian power spectral previously observed within the estuary. The result showed that large velocity fluctuations determine the magnitude of the integral time scale, TL. Overlapping of short segments improved the stability of the estimate of TL by taking advantage of the redundant data included in the autocorrelation function. The integral time scales were about 20 s and varied by up to a factor of 8. These results are essential inputs for spatial binning of velocities, Lagrangian stochastic modelling and single particle analysis of the tidal estuary.