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Numerical data of hydrodynamics and sediment transport for three reference scenarios: N1, P, and N2

Cite this dataset

Zhou, Jian; Stacey, Mark (2020). Numerical data of hydrodynamics and sediment transport for three reference scenarios: N1, P, and N2 [Dataset]. Dryad.


The residual sediment transport in tidally energetic estuarine channels is investigated by means of idealized cross‐sectional modeling. The lateral bathymetric variation follows a Gaussian profile, assuming longitudinal uniformity. The total along‐channel residual sediment flux is decomposed into contributions from an advective flux and a tidal pumping flux. Two important mechanisms are found to modify the tidal covariance between sediment concentration and current velocity, thereby contributing to the tidal pumping of sediment. First, longitudinal and lateral straining of salinity leads to tidal asymmetries in stratification and thus sediment resuspension. Second, lateral circulations directly redistribute suspended sediments within the cross section, which are then differentially transported by the along‐channel tidal currents. A general relationship between the phasing of the lateral circulations and the resulting lateral‐advection‐driven tidal pumping is proposed. Reduced‐physics experiments with lateral sediment advection turned off provide the first evidence that lateral‐advection‐driven tidal pumping plays a leading role in sediment transport for tidally energetic estuaries with nonnegligible lateral depth gradients. Additionally, a temporal decomposition breaks down the cross‐sectionally averaged tidal pumping flux into individual contributions from different tidal phases (early tide, peak tide, late tide), providing a new perspective on tidal asymmetry in sediment resuspension and settling. The direction and strength of tidal pumping (both stratification‐driven and lateral‐advection‐driven) are shown to depend on lateral bathymetry, sediment grain size, and longitudinal buoyancy gradient forcing.

Usage notes

The three NetCDF files contain the numerical data generated by GETM simulations which can be used to reproduce certain key figures in the manuscript. Reference scenario N1 (seaward tidal pumping of fine sediment in wide channel): channel width = 20 km, d = 44 micron (variable name: iow_spm05 concentration of SPM); Reference scenario P (landward tidal pumping of fine sediment in medium channel): channel width = 1 km, d = 50 micron (variable name: iow_spm06 concentration of SPM); Reference scenario N2 (seaward tidal pumping of coarse sediment in narrow channel): channel width = 0.2 km, d = 80 micron (variable name: iow_spm11 concentration of SPM).


San Francisco Estuary Institute, Award: 1135