Mixing, hypersalinity and gradients in Hervey Bay, Australia

Grawe, Ulf and Wolff, Jorg-Olaf and Ribbe, Joachim (2009) Mixing, hypersalinity and gradients in Hervey Bay, Australia. Ocean Dynamics, 59 (5). pp. 643-658. ISSN 1616-7341

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Abstract

Hervey Bay, a large coastal embayment situated off the central eastern coast of Australia, is a shallow tidal area (average depth = 15 m), close to the continental shelf. It shows features of an inverse estuary, due to the high evaporation rate (approx. 2 m/year), low precipitation (less than 1 m/year) and on average almost no freshwater input from rivers that drain into the bay. The hydro- and thermodynamical structure of Hervey Bay and their variability are presented here for the first time, using a combination of four-dimensional modelling and observations from field studies. The numerical studies are performed with the Coupled Hydrodynamical Ecological model for RegioNal Shelf seas (COHERENS). Due to the high tidal range (> 3.5 m) the bay is considered as a vertically well-mixed system and therefore only horizontal fronts a likely. Recent field measurements, but also the numerical simulations indicate characteristic features of an inverse/hypersaline estuary with low salinities (35.5 psu) in the open ocean and peak values (> 39.0 psu) in the head water of the bay. The model further predicts a nearly persistent mean salinity gradient of 0.5 psu across the bay (with higher salinities close to the shore).


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Depositing User: Dr Joachim Ribbe
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2009 05:28
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hervey Bay; estuary; inverse estuary; climate change; precipitation; evaporation; ocean modelling; Australia; coast
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function
04 Earth Sciences > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1007/s10236-009-0195-4
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5086

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