Subtidal flow division at a shallow tidal junction

Authors

  • F. A. Buschman,

    1. Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, TC Utrecht, Netherlands
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  • A. J. F. Hoitink,

    1. Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, TC Utrecht, Netherlands
    2. Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
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  • M. van der Vegt,

    1. Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, TC Utrecht, Netherlands
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  • P. Hoekstra

    1. Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, TC Utrecht, Netherlands
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Abstract

[1] Tides influence distribution of river discharge at tidally affected channel junctions. At the apex of a channel network in an Indonesian delta, observations of flow division suggest that tidally averaged flow division depends on the tidal range. To understand the mechanisms governing the subtidal flow division, an idealized hydrodynamic junction model inspired by the observations has been set up. The barotropic model consists of two exponentially converging tidal channels that connect to a tidal river at the junction and solves the nonlinear shallow water equations. By varying the depth, length, e-folding length scale of the channel width, and hydraulic roughness in one of the two tidal channels, the sensitivity of the subtidal flow division to those four parameters was investigated. For depth, length, and e-folding length scale differences between channels the effect of tides is generally to enhance unequal subtidal flow division that occurs in the case of river flow only. In contrast, for hydraulic roughness differences, the tidal effect partly cancels the inequality in river flow division. The tidal effect may even reverse the horizontal flow circulation that would occur in the absence of tides.

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