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Winter dynamics on the northern Portuguese shelf. Part 2: bottom boundary layers and sediment dispersal

Abstract : The northern Portuguese shelf, between 41°N and 42°N, is characterised by the presence of a mid-shelf mud deposit, the Douro Mud Patch (DMP). Observations conducted between July 1996 and June 1999 under the framework of project OMEX II-II, are used to examine the impact of the dynamic processes in the lower water column, particularly on the DMP. The typical wave conditions observed during the winter maintain a highly energetic environment, capable of promoting the erosion of fine sediments at mid-shelf depths. However, the bottom nepheloid layers generated beneath these waves only extend a few meters above the bottom and are contained within rocky outcrops with similar heights that fringe the outer shelf. Each year there are about ten storms, mostly associated with southerly winds that create downwelling conditions over the shelf. The waves associated with these storms produce shear velocities over 3 cm/s at mid-shelf and bottom nepheloid layers which extend a few tens of meters above the bottom and spread offshore, over the outer shelf and upper slope. A rough estimate suggests that these events account for an offshore export of about 20×10 6 kg of fine sediments each year (equivalent to 1-2% of sediments trapped at DMP).
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 5:03:46 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 25, 2022 - 3:57:32 AM

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J. Vitorino, A. Oliveira, J. M. Jouanneau, T. Drago. Winter dynamics on the northern Portuguese shelf. Part 2: bottom boundary layers and sediment dispersal. Progress in Oceanography, 2002, 52, pp.155-170. ⟨10.1016/S0079-6611(02)00004-6⟩. ⟨insu-03619004⟩



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