The impact of tides and waves on near-surface suspended sediment concentrations in the English Channel

Type Article
Date 2017-03
Language English
Author(s) Guillou Nicolas1, Rivier Aurelie1, 2, Chapalain Georges1, Gohin Francis2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Cerema DTecEMF DS, LGCE, Plouzane, France.
2 : Technople Brest Iroise, Ctr Bretagne, IFREMER, ODE DYNECO PELAGOS, Plouzane, France.
Source Oceanologia (0078-3234) (Polish Acad Sciences Inst Oceanology), 2017-03 , Vol. 59 , N. 1 , P. 28-36
DOI 10.1016/j.oceano.2016.06.002
WOS© Times Cited 11
Keyword(s) Sediment transport, Numerical modeling, Satellite, ROMS, MERIS, MODIS
Abstract Numerous ecological problems of continental shelf ecosystems require a refined knowledge of the evolution of suspended sediment concentrations (SSC). The present investigation focuses on the spatial and temporal variabilities of near-surface SSC in coastal waters of the English Channel (western Europe) by exploiting numerical predictions from the Regional Ocean Modeling System ROMS. Extending previous investigations of ROMS performances in the Channel, this analysis refines, with increased spatial and temporal resolutions, the characterization of near-surface SSC patterns revealing areas where concentrations are highly correlated with evolutions of tides and waves. Significant tidal modulations of near-surface concentrations are thus found in the eastern English Channel and the French Dover Strait while a pronounced influence of waves is exhibited in the Channel Islands Gulf. Coastal waters present furthermore strong SSC temporal variations, particularly noticeable during storm events of autumn and winter, with maximum near-surface concentrations exceeding 40 mg l−1 and increase by a factor from 10 to 18 in comparison with time-averaged concentrations. This temporal variability strongly depends on the granulometric distribution of suspended sediments characterized by local bi-modal contributions of silts and sands off coastal irregularities of the Isle of Wight, the Cotentin Peninsula and the southern Dover Strait.
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