Cohesive sediment erosion in a combined wave-current boundary layer
AbstractWe conducted field work on the shoals of South San Francisco Bay to
elucidate the mechanisms driving cohesive sediment erosion in a shallow,
wave- and current-driven flow. Compiling data from three deployments,
including measurements taken within the combined wave-current boundary
layer, we found that waves were strongly correlated to turbulent
sediment fluxes across all seasons and a range of deployment depths.
Tidal turbulence was only correlated to turbulent sediment fluxes for
larger relative depths, or when a wave-driven sediment flux into the
boundary layer allowed the tidal shear stress to transport sediment into
the overlying flow. Despite the dominance of waves in eroding sediment,
we found favorable agreement between in situ boundary layer erosion
measurements and laboratory erosion measurements conducted in a steady
flume. Results were analyzed in the context of two benthic surveys which
provided insight into the sediment bed properties.