Marine Ecosystem Dynamics Modeling Laboratory

The Residual Currents

The model-predicted residual currents in both main channels of the Ogeechee River were characterized by multiple eddy-like circulation cells (see Figures on this page). These complicated residual current structures were very similar to those found in the Satilla River Estuary, GA and also in the Okatee/Collecton River, SC, suggesting that the circulation in the estuary is completely a 3-D feature that varies significantly in space.

Distribution of the model-predicted residual currents in the Ogeechee River Estuary. Click the image to view larger image

This fact challenges the previous estimation of turbulent motions in estuaries that were mainly based on the measurement data at limited sites. The FVCOM-predicted multiple eddy-like residual circulation cells in the Satilla River Estury and Okatee/Collection River Estuary were demonstrated by the towed ADCP measurements. Therefore, we believe that the complex structures predicted in the Ogeechee River Estuary should be true nature. This suggests that the water exchanges in this estuary is a typical chaotic system with a periodic motion over multiple residual eddies.

Posted on January 16, 2014