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BASS measurements of currents, waves, stress, and turbulence in the North Sea bottom-boundary layer

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2 Author(s)
Thwaites, F.T. ; Woods Hole Oceanogr. Instn., MA, USA ; Williams, A.J.

Shallow-water-boundary layers are affected by current, waves, bottom topography, and stratification. Precise turbulence measurements through such regions are difficult. A deployment of a BASS (Benthic Acoustic Stress Sensor) tripod in November 1997 in the North Sea in 15 m of water provides a data set to examine turbulent boundary layer models. The deployment spanned both calm and storm sea conditions, had strong tidal currents, the location was uniform horizontally, and the bottom-boundary layer was well mixed in temperature. Estimates of stress derived from the covariance, log-fit, drag-law, and inertial-dissipation method have been compared. The covariance stress estimate had the largest sample to sample scatter, but from theoretical considerations should give the best estimate in stratified flow. The drag-law estimate gave the least sampling variability but suffers from the user having to measure a drag coefficient by some other method. The inertial-dissipation method was more tolerant to sensor misalignment, had the second greatest sampling variability, and could not be used to measure stress during slack tide. Averaging many semidiurnal tidal cycles showed greater tidal asymmetry of the log-fit stress than the covariance or inertial-dissipation stress estimates. Turbulent energy generation and dissipation were measured and balanced individually for the upper two sensors and followed a one-over-height-above-bottom profile

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Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 2 )