Coastal Current of Pacific Northwest

by Bard Glenne, Assoc. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah,
Robert H. Bourke, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterrey, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 4, Pg. 433-441

Document Type: Journal Paper


To plan and design ocean outfall for sewage, cooling water or other wastes it is necessary to have a knowledge of the nearshore current velocities and directions. An overview is presented of available nearshore current measurement of the Pacific Northwest Coast along with some theoretical methods for calculating velocities. Current contributions are considered from tides, winds, waves and upwelling. Available current data indicate that in nearshore areas effects due to bottom and shore configurations overshadow geostrophic and Ekman layer effects. Generally, theoretical methods for calculation of current velocities in coastal waters (within 5 nautical miles of the coastline) can give approximate values. However, for specific information it is usually necessary to perform local measurements.

Subject Headings: Nearshore | Fluid velocity | Coastal environment | Ocean currents | Ocean engineering | Sewage | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | Temperature effects | Pacific Northwest | United States

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