Salinity Intrusion Effects in Estuary Shoaling

by Donald R. F. Harleman,
Arthur T. Ippen,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 1, Pg. 9-28

Document Type: Journal Paper


In the salinity intrusion region of an estuary the internal velocity distribution in the longitudinal direction is modified by the density effects. If the velocities are averaged over a tidal cycle the result is an increase in the surface velocities in the downstream (ebb) direction and a reversal of the near-bottom velocities so that the net velocity is in the upstream (flood) direction. The region of heavy shoaling in an estuary is shown to be related to the location of the null point at which the near-bottom velocity reverses from a net landward to a net seaward direction. The location of the null point is shown to be related to the longitudinal salinity distribution through a correlation based on the local densimetric Froude number. A method is developed for predicting the longitudinal change in the region of heavy shoaling due to changes in channel depth or fresh water discharge. The method is developed from laboratory data obtained at M.I.T. and W.E.S. (Vicksburg) and is applied to the Savannah and Delaware estuaries.

Subject Headings: Fluid velocity | Estuaries | Salinity | Velocity distribution | Shoals | Water discharge | Tides | Floods

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