= 2.5 < 10*-1 Hz. The energy of both ocean waves and locally-generated wind waves across all sites were modulated by the tide, owing to tidal changes in water depth and currents. Wave energies were typically low at low tide and high at high tide. Thus, in addition to fluctuations in winds and the presence of ocean waves, tides exert a strong control on the wave energy spectra at BEBs in mesotidal regions. In general, it is expected that events that can reshape beaches occur during high wind or swell events that occur at high-tide, when waves can reach the beaches with less attenuation. However, no such events were observed during our study and questions remain as to how rarely such wind-tide concurrences occur across the bay.">
Components and Tidal Modulation of the Wave Field in a Semi-Enclosed Shallow Bay

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Authors

Lukas WinklerPrins , John Largier , Ana Vila-Concejo , Shari L Gallop , Thomas Edmund Fellowes , Maryam Rahbani

Abstract

The wave field in coastal bays is comprised of waves generated by far-off storms and waves generated locally by winds inside the bay and regionally outside the bay. The resultant wave field varies spatially and temporally and is expected to control morphologic features, such as beaches in estuaries and bays (BEBs). However, neither the wave field nor the role of waves in shaping BEBs have been well-studied, limiting the efficacy of coastal protection and restoration projects. Here we present observations of the wave field in Tomales Bay, a 20 km long, narrow, semi-enclosed embayment on the wave-dominated coast of Northern California (USA) with a tidal range of 2.5 m. We deployed pressure sensors in front of several beaches along the linear axis of the bay. Low-frequency waves (4 * 10^-2 * 2.5 * 10*^-1 Hz or 4 - 25 s period) dissipated within 4 km of the mouth, delineating the "outer bay" region, where remotely-generated swell and regionally-generated wind waves can dominate. The "inner bay" spectrum, further landward, is dominated by fetch-limited waves generated within the bay with frequency >= 2.5 < 10*-1 Hz. The energy of both ocean waves and locally-generated wind waves across all sites were modulated by the tide, owing to tidal changes in water depth and currents. Wave energies were typically low at low tide and high at high tide. Thus, in addition to fluctuations in winds and the presence of ocean waves, tides exert a strong control on the wave energy spectra at BEBs in mesotidal regions. In general, it is expected that events that can reshape beaches occur during high wind or swell events that occur at high-tide, when waves can reach the beaches with less attenuation. However, no such events were observed during our study and questions remain as to how rarely such wind-tide concurrences occur across the bay.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5P612

Subjects

Environmental Engineering, Geomorphology, Oceanography

Keywords

Sheltered beach, low-energy beach, shallow-water waves, spectral analysis, wind waves, wave field, Tomales Bay

Dates

Published: 2021-12-09 20:44

Last Updated: 2021-12-09 20:44

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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