Articles | Volume 16, issue 4
Research article
13 Jul 2020
Research article |  | 13 Jul 2020

The role of turbulence and internal waves in the structure and evolution of a near-field river plume

Rebecca A. McPherson, Craig L. Stevens, Joanne M. O'Callaghan, Andrew J. Lucas, and Jonathan D. Nash

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Cited articles

Bowman, M., Dietrich, D., and Mladenov, P.: Predictions of circulation and mixing in Doubtful Sound, arising from variations in runoff and discharge from the Manapouri power station, Coast. Estuar. Stud., 56, 59–76,, 1999. a, b
Chen, F. and MacDonald, D. G.: Role of mixing in the structure and evolution of a buoyant discharge plume, J. Geophys. Res., 111, C11002,, 2006. a
Chen, F., MacDonald, D. G., and Hetland, R. D.: Lateral spreading of a near-field river plume: Observations and numerical simulations, J. Geophys. Res., 114, C07013,, 2009. a
Cummins, P. F., Armi, L., and Vagle, S.: Upstream internal hydraulic jumps, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 36, 753–769,, 2006. a
Fong, D. A. and Geyer, W. R.: The alongshore transport of freshwater in a surface-trapped river plume, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 32, 957–972,<0957:TATOFI>2.0.CO;2, 2002. a
Short summary
River plume characteristics (density, velocity, turbulence) are measured in the first several kilometers of a river flow entering a New Zealand fjord. These observations are used to quantify the influence of the main plume dynamics on controlling the behavior and structure of the flow. The mixing of dense, stationary water from below into the fast-flowing plume drove its deceleration. Internal waves were capable of transporting almost 15 % of the total momentum out beyond the plume's boundaries.