SUB-TIDAL VARIABILITY IN THE HUDSON RIVER PLUME AS A Session 050,#543
RESULT OF HIGH FREQUENCY FORCING
Hunter, E.J., Rutgers University, Chant, R.J., Rutgers University, Wilkin, J., Rutgers University
Abstract Observations of Sea/Land Breeze Variability Ocean Model Model cases
During the course of Lagrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE) in 2004, •Grid
a) February-March b) April-May •~1 km horizontal resolution. # M2 Tidal Wind Regime
2005, and 2006, the structure of the Hudson River plume was highly variable. Although forcing • 30 vertically stretched levels. Range
due to variations in discharge, low-frequency winds, and ambient shelf circulation are important, •Model setup 1 Decreased No wind
high-frequency forcing and sub-tidal response of the plume is apparent in the observations. •Mellor and Yamada level 2.5 turbulence closure.
•Orlanski-type radiation Conditions. 2 Normal No wind
Tidal mixing in the estuary manifests as fortnightly variability in plume stratification in the 2005 •Tidal harmonics specified at the open boundary.
•Initial Conditions 3 Increased No wind
and 2006 mooring records. Diurnal wind variability related to the sea-land breeze system (SLBS),
•Constant temperature (5 degrees C). 4 Decreased NS SLBS
while episodic, accounts for up to 50% of the energy in surface currents in the New York Bight •Constant Salinity (32 PPT).
Apex at times. Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) simulations demonstrate a subtidal •Quiescent fluid. 5 Normal NS SLBS
response to this forcing. Spring-neap variability in tidal mixing modifies the estuary outflow •Forcing 6 Decreased NS SLBS
•No surface heat flux.
Rossby and Froude numbers, resulting in increased freshwater transport in the coastal current •Zero wind stress, idealized diurnal wind. 7 Mixed No Wind
during spring tides with lower freshwater transport during neap tides. SLBS variability resulted •Constant discharge (500 m^3/s,5 C,0 PPT)
Fig. 9) ROMS output. Representative surface salinity and surface velocity
in greater storage of fluid in the bulge region of the Hudson River plume and freshwater for a) No wind, normal M2 tide and b) SLBS, normal M2 tide.
transport in the coastal current as low as 30 percent of the total river discharge.
The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS; information online at http://www.myroms.org) is a three-dimensional, free-surface, hydrostatic, split-explicit,
primitive-equation ocean model.
Fig. 5) Diurnal period rotary ellipses overlaid major axis magnitude derived from CODAR velocities. Note the
increase in diurnal energy in b).
a) Case 1 b) Case 2 c) Case 3
There is a dramatic increase in diurnal energy near the mouth of the Hudson river beginning in April. The diurnal
major axis doubles with the onset of the SLBS. (Hunter et al., 2007)
Estuary Mouth Results
d) Case 4 e) Case 5 f) Case 6
Fig. 1) LaTTE study area. Fig. 2) Idealized Surfaced-Advected River Plume.
Fig. 6) Time series of diurnal wind energy at Ambrose Tower and the percent of total energy in the diurnal band
in the CODAR domain shown in fig. 5). Grey areas show sea-breeze days determined independently. Fig. 10) ROMS output. Along estuary velocity at the Hudson River mouth Fig. 11) ROMS output. Along estuary velocity w/ salinity contours for
The objective of the Lagrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE) is to characterize
the evolution of physical, chemical and biological properties of the Hudson River Plume (Fig. 1). The (fig. 1, line B) with salinity contours for model cases 1-6. model cases.
The onset of the SLBS in April results in enhanced diurnal band energy in the coastal ocean near the Hudson river
Hudson River plume is typically considered to be a surfaced-advected plume ((Yankovsky and
mouth. As much as 50% of the total kinetic energy (at times) in the surface water is the result of SLBS energy. (Hunter Parameters of the Hudson River outflow vary with tidal range. Increased tidal range leads to increased outflow depth, decreased outflow Rossby
Chapman, 1997) such as that shown in Fig. 2).
et al., 2007) number and increased cross channel asymmetry. With the exception of decreased tidal range cases, the SLBS has little effect on outflow.
a) Case 1 b) Case 2 c) Case 3
Coastal Current Results
d) Case 4 e) Case 5 f) Case 6
Fig 3. MODIS images of Chlorophyll concentration highlighting the Hudson River Plume in
2004,2005,and 2006. Drifter tracks from the three field seasons are shown in Magenta.
River plumes in nature are rarely as well defined as Fig. 2). Fig. 3) illustrates this variability with three
realizations of the Hudson river plume. It is well-established that low-frequency wind, river discharge,
and ambient shelf circulation contribute to plume variability. The impact of forcing such as tides and Fig. 12) ROMS output. Along shelf velocity in the coastal current (Fig. 1, Fig. 13) ROMS output. Freshwater flux in the coastal current as fraction
high frequency winds on low-frequency plume variability is less understood. line B) with salinity contours for model cases 1-6. of river discharge for the a) no wind cases and b) SLBS cases.
The coastal current is dramatically modified by the onset of the SLBS. Although the coastal current is wider and deeper during SLBS events (fig.
Observations of Fortnightly Variability Fig. 7) a) Time series of CODAR radial velocity along a single range cell (Fig. 1) positive is away
from the Hudson river mouth. North-South wind (positive north) is overlayed. b) Sea level height
at Sandy Hook.
12), there is a decrease in freshwater transport (fig. 13) in the SLBS cases, suggesting enhanced storage of freshwater in the recirculating bulge
region due to the SLBS. This is evident in the surface signature of the plume (fig. 14) and consistent with Chant et al. 2008.
a) Day 12, Decreased M2 b) Day 12, Normal M2 c) Day 12, Increased M2
One net effect of the SLBS on the Hudson River outflow is the redirection of the outflow at each ebb tide. When on the
northerly phase of the SLBS the ebb moves along long island and while on the southerly phases it moves into the
•SLBS variability and, to a lesser extent, spring-neap variability are clear
signals in the LaTTE dataset.
•Changes in mixing over the spring-neap cycle in the estuary modify
parameters of the outflow (depth, velocity, etc.) and hence the development
d) Day 40, Decreased M2 e) Day 40, Normal M2 f) Day 40, Increased M2
of the plume.
•Spring tides tend to decreases stratification and increased freshwater
transport in the coastal current and vice versa for neap tides.
•The SLBS acts directly on the Hudson river plume through both advective
momentum flux and enhanced mixing .
•Freshwater transport in the coastal current decreases during SLBS events,
with freshwater flux dropping to <40% of river transport.
•The SLBS combined with the geometry of the Hudson River mouth
provides a secondary freshwater pathway along Long Island.
Fig. 14) The 31.5 ‰ salinity contour for model day 12 (a-c) and
model day 40 (d-f).
Fig. 4) Time series of low-pass filtered stratification at mooring locations in Fig. 1 along with
tidal range at Sandy Hook. References:
Fig. 8) Climatology of a) Hudson River discharge and SLBS frequency and b) sea surface temperature in April. Hunter, E., R. Chant, L. Bowers, S. Glenn, and J. Kohut (2007), Spatial and temporal variability of diurnal wind forcing in the coastal ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L03607, doi:10.1029/2006GL028945.
The mooring deployments in 2005 and 2006 show spring-neap variability in the low frequency stratification Yankovsky, A. E., and D. C. Chapman (1997), A simple theory for the fate of buoyant coastal discharges, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 27, 1386-1401.
time series at all mooring locations. Tidal currents outside of the estuary are small, suggesting fortnightly
Climatologies of river discharge, SLBS, and SST show the onset of the SLBS with increased river discharge and plume Chant, R. J., S. M. Glenn, E. Hunter, J. Kohut, R. F. Chen, R. W. Houghton, J. Bosch, and O. Schofield (2008), Bulge Formation of a Buoyant River Outflow, Journal Geophysical Research 113, C01017,
mixing variability in the estuary is related to stratification in the plume. The Spring/Neap variability in 2005 is doi:10.1029/2007JC004100.
somewhat obscured by a large discharge event in early April. signature.