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Free Content Tidal and Long-term Flow Through Two Tidal Channels Connecting Southern Biscayne Bay and Card Sound With Atlantic Shelf Waters

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Current meter data and local wind measurements from a 166-d study in 1996–97 are used to describe tidal and long-term flow through two tidal channels that connect southern Biscayne Bay and Card Sound with Atlantic shelf waters. Results indicate a quasisteady, long-term outflow from the estuary through Caesar Creek and Angelfish Creek that averaged 12 cm s−1 and 8 cm s−1, respectively. Harmonic analysis indicates that the tides dominate the instantaneous flow through the channels, with diurnal and semi-diur- nal tidal constituents accounting for 85–87% of the total variance. M2 amplitudes for Caesar Creek and Angelfish Creek are 72 and 52 cm s−1, respectively. Comparisons of local winds and along-channel currents indicate that wind stress plays the primary role in driving the nontidal flow through the channels. Spectral analysis shows high coherence between along-channel currents and a broad range of wind stress components over time scales of 2–16 d. Winds from the northern sector show particularly high coherence with along-channel flow through both creeks, accounting for 40–80% of the variance in nontidal along-channel flow over the low-frequency time scales. A close inspection of the seasonal and low-frequency wind stress pattern, however, suggests that the long-term outflow observed through the two channels is not due to wind stress alone. A comparison of freshwater flux in the bay with channel outflow indicated a marginal cause-and-effect relationship. Surface runoff and precipitation explain only 2–3% of the variance in outflow through the two channels.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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