COUPLED WAVE-BED DYNAMICS, ATCHAFALAYA SHELF, LOUISIANA

Cihan Sahin, Ilgar Safak, Alexandru Sheremet

Abstract


Observations of waves, currents, suspended sediment concentration and acoustic backscatter are used to re-investigate the interaction between the combined wave-current flow and cohesive sediments on the muddy Atchafalaya inner shelf. Observations support the previously proposed bed reworking cycle by waves of mobilization and resuspension of bed sediment, erosion, deposition with fluid mud formation and consolidation. Suspended sediment concentration profiles are estimated based on the acoustic backscatter of a current profiler. A one-dimensional vertical bottom boundary model is used to reconstruct the vertical structure of the flow characteristics, and estimate parameters difficult to observe directly, such as bottom shear stress. Estimated bed position, concentration profiles and computed bottom stresses remarkably support the previous findings on the bottom stress-resuspension relation, critical shear stress for erosion and bed density variation throughout a storm.

Keywords


bed reworking; cohesive sediment; muddy clinoform; ocean waves

References


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