t-diameter) ring of submerged current sensors, Clark et al. directly measured for the first time the generation of horizontal eddies by breaking coastal waves in the water off North Carolina. In line with theoretical and numerical modeling efforts, the authors find that turbulent eddies are created at the edges of breaking waves, and that the eddies rotate in different directions depending on whether they are produced by left- or right-handed waves. They find the eddies decayed after 20 to 60 seconds. Further, they find the eddies were strongest at low tide and weakest at high tide, a finding they attribute either to the sensor array's changing position in the surf zone due to the shifting tide, or to an increase in the amount of energy dissipated by waves breaking in the shallower low-tide water. They suggest that such horizontal eddies are an important source of dispersive energy for the near-shore environment.
Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1029/2012GL054034, 2012
Vorticity generation by short-crested wave breaking
David B. Clark, Steve Elgar and Britt Raubenheimer: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
4. Variability of transparent organic particles in Arctic floodplain lakes
In the North American Arctic the Mackenzie River courses into the Beaufort Sea, the outlet of a watershed that drains a vast swath of the western Canadian landscape. At the river's mouth, the Mackenzie Delta is a broad floodplain peppered with roughly 45,000 lakes carved into the permafrost. Depending on their connectivity to the river, these floodplain lakes have different mixtures of organic compounds, and such differences affect carbon cycling and sediment processes in the lakes.
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