Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ocean Sci., 14, 139-159, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-14-139-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Feb 2018
Effect of winds and waves on salt intrusion in the Pearl River estuary
Wenping Gong1,2, Zhongyuan Lin1,2, Yunzhen Chen1,2, Zhaoyun Chen1,2, and Heng Zhang1,2,3 1School of Marine Science, SunYat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
2Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Coastal Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
Abstract. Salt intrusion in the Pearl River estuary (PRE) is a dynamic process that is influenced by a range of factors and to date, few studies have examined the effects of winds and waves on salt intrusion in the PRE. We investigate these effects using the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system applied to the PRE. After careful validation, the model is used for a series of diagnostic simulations. It is revealed that the local wind considerably strengthens the salt intrusion by lowering the water level in the eastern part of the estuary and increasing the bottom landward flow. The remote wind increases the water mixing on the continental shelf, elevates the water level on the shelf and in the PRE and pumps saltier shelf water into the estuary by Ekman transport. Enhancement of the salt intrusion is comparable between the remote and local winds. Waves decrease the salt intrusion by increasing the water mixing. Sensitivity analysis shows that the axial down-estuary wind, is most efficient in driving increases in salt intrusion via wind straining effect.

Citation: Gong, W., Lin, Z., Chen, Y., Chen, Z., and Zhang, H.: Effect of winds and waves on salt intrusion in the Pearl River estuary, Ocean Sci., 14, 139-159, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-14-139-2018, 2018.
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Short summary
Salt intrusion in the Pearl River Estuary is a dynamic process that is influenced by a range of factors, and few studies have examined the effects of winds and waves. Therefore, we investigate these effects using the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport modeling system in this region. It was found that enhancement of the salt intrusion is comparable between the remote and local winds. Waves decrease the salt intrusion by increasing the water mixing.
Salt intrusion in the Pearl River Estuary is a dynamic process that is influenced by a range of...
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