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An Evaluation of the Rouse theory for sand transport in the Oka estuary, Spain

Al-Ragum, Alanoud and Monge-Ganuzas, M. and Amosa, C.L. and Cearreta, A and Townend, I and Manca, Eleonora (2014) An Evaluation of the Rouse theory for sand transport in the Oka estuary, Spain. Continental shelf research, Vol. 78 , p. 39-50. ISSN 0278-4343. eISSN 1873-6955. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2014.01.018


The Rouse profile has been traditionally used to represent the vertical distribution of suspended sand in a marine benthic boundary layer. Yet it is one of the biggest unknowns in estuarine morphodynamics, largely due to uncertainties of the ratio of the sediment fall velocity to bed friction on which the Rouse exponent (R=ws/βku*) is based. A field campaign was carried out at three different locations in the Oka estuary, northern Spain, in order to examine these uncertainties. Each location differed in grain size and flow condition thus offering a wide range of settings. The first survey was inside the estuary (wave sheltered, flood tide dominated and relatively broad estuary section), the second was at the distal ebb delta (ebb tide dominated and narrow estuary section), and the third was over the wave exposed proximal ebb delta (wave/flood tidal current combined flows and open sea). The aim of this study is to evaluate the applicability of the Rouse (1937) theory for the distribution of sand in suspension throughout a turbulent benthic boundary layer. A modified version of a Helley–Smith sampler was used to trap sand and measure the vertical distribution of sand in the water column. As well, a 1200 ADCP was used to measure flow velocity and backscatter together with an ADV (turbulence). The sand traps were found to have a sampling efficiency of 44%. The grain size at all stations was finer near the surface and coarser near the bed. The sand transport inside the estuary (Station 1) is inwards dominant. By contrast, the sand concentration during the ebb tide was ten times higher than during the flood tide at Station 2 and even higher at Station 3, which suggests that the sand transport over the ebb delta is seawards. The average Rouse parameters for Stations 1, 2, and 3 are 0.48±0.035, 0.78±0.23, and 0.46±0.06 respectively, which correspond to a coefficient of proportionality of the movability number, (χ) of 4 ( Van Rijn, 1993). These differ from previous findings of Villatoro et al. (2010) and Amos et al. (2010b).

Item Type:Article
ID Code:9851
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rouse, sand transport, tidal inlet, Oka estuary, urdaibai biosphere reserve
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/07 Ecologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze della Natura e del Territorio
Deposited On:05 Jun 2014 11:39

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