Abstract

Presented in this paper is a derivation of the longshore current generated by breaking lowest mode internal waves in a two layer fluid of slowly shallowing depth, with emphasis on the nearshore region of the Fraser River delta in the Strait of Georgia. It is proposed that such a current, having a maximum speed of order 104v cm3/s2 (equal to 102 cm/s for reasonable vertical eddy viscosities, μv, of 102 cm2/s) and a width of order kilometers based on measured water properties and internal wave characteristics in the Strait, is responsible for the persistent northward flow observed to be associated with the delta in summer. Accordingly, it is suggested that the longshore current would have important implications to sedimentation rates and pollutant dispersal in the delta area, with greatest effects possibly occurring in summer and fall when the stratification in the Strait of Georgia is most pronounced.

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