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Mass transport in the Stokes edge wave

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The Lagrangian mass transport in the Stokes progressive edge wave is obtained from the vertically integrated equations of momentum and mass, correct to second order in wave steepness. The cross-shore momentum balance is between the mean pressure at the sloping bottom, the radiation stress, and the pressure gradient due to the mean surface slope. In the alongshore direction, the effect of viscosity leads to a wave attenuation, and hence a radiation stress component. The frictional effect on the mean Eulerian motion is modeled through a turbulent bottom drag. The alongshore momentum balance is between the mean pressure gradient due to the surface slope, the radiation stress, and the turbulent drag on the mean Eulerian flow. It is shown that −∂E/∂y, where E is the total mean energy density for waves along the y-axis, is the wave-forcing term for the total mean Lagrangian momentum in the trapping region. This result is independent of the bottom slope angle. Vertically-averaged drift velocity components are obtained from the fluxes, divided by the local depth. Utilizing physical parameters relevant for field conditions, it appears the traditional Stokes drift in the Stokes edge wave is negligible compared to the mean Eulerian velocity component. The importance of this drift for the near-shore transport of effluents and suspended light sediments is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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