in Oceanologia > No. 53 (1) / 11 [04/08/2011] . - p.33-56
Wind, flow and wave measurements were performed in November-December in 2008 in the relatively narrow and shallow Suur Strait connecting the waters of the Väinameri and the Gulf of Riga. During the measurement period wind conditions were extremely variable, including a severe storm on 23 November. The flow speed along the strait varied between ±0.2 m s-1, except for the 0.4 m s-1 that occurred after the storm as a result of the sea level gradient. The mean and maximum significant wave heights were 0.53 m and 1.6 m respectively. Because of their longer fetch, southerly winds generated higher waves in the strait than winds from the north. All wave events caused by the stronger southerly winds induced sediment resuspension, whereas the current-induced shear velocity slightly exceeded the critical value for resuspension only when the current speed was 0.4 m s-1. A triple-nested two-dimensional high resolution (100 m in the Suur Strait) circulation model and the SWAN wave model were used to simulate water exchange in 2008 and the wave-induced shear velocity field in the Suur Strait respectively. Circulation model simulations demonstrated that water exchange was highly variable, that cumulative transport followed an evident seasonal cycle, and that there was an gross annual outflow of 23 km3 from the Gulf of Riga. The horizontal distribution of wave-induced shear velocity during the strong southerly wind event indicated large shear velocities and substantial horizontal variability. The shear velocities were less than the critical value for resuspension in the deep area of the Suur Strait.
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