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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Feb 2019

Research article | 04 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Numerical issues of the Total Exchange Flow (TEF) analysis framework for quantifying estuarine circulation

Marvin Lorenz1, Knut Klingbeil1, Parker MacCready2, and Hans Burchard1 Marvin Lorenz et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany
  • 2University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Abstract. For more than a century, estuarine exchange flow has been quantified by means of the Knudsen relations which connect bulk quantities such as inflow and outflow volume fluxes and salinities. These relations are closely linked to estuarine mixing. The recently developed Total Exchange flow (TEF) which uses salinity coordinates to calculate these bulk quantities allows an exact formulation of the Knudsen relations in realistic cases. There are however numerical issues, since the original method does not converge to the TEF bulk values for an increasing number of salinity classes. In the present study, this problem is investigated and the method of dividing salinities, described by MacCready et al. (2018), is mathematically introduced. A challenging yet compact analytical scenario for a well-mixed estuarine exchange flow is investigated for both methods, showing the proper convergence of the dividing salinity method. Furthermore, the dividing salinity method is applied to model results of the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the analysis of realistic exchange flows and exchange flows with more than two layers.

Marvin Lorenz et al.
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Marvin Lorenz et al.
Marvin Lorenz et al.
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Short summary
Estuaries are areas where riverine and oceanic waters meet and mix. The exchange flow of an estuary describes the water properties of the inflowing and outflowing water. These can be described by simple bulk values for volume fluxes and salinities. This work focuses on the numerics of one computational method for these values, the Total Exchange Flow. We show that only the so called dividing salinity method is able to reliably calculate the correct values, even for complex situations.
Estuaries are areas where riverine and oceanic waters meet and mix. The exchange flow of an...