Publication Date

2013-12-21

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-12-21

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Applied Marine Physics (Marine)

Date of Defense

2013-11-15

First Committee Member

Maria J Olascoaga

Second Committee Member

Ad Reniers

Third Committee Member

Michael G Brown

Fourth Committee Member

Helena Solo-Gabriele

Abstract

The accumulation of pollutants near the shoreline can result in low quality coastal water with negative effects on human health. To understand the role of mixing by tidal flows in coastal water quality, we study the nearshore Lagrangian circulation of four recreational beaches in Miami, FL, who, despite close proximity, have varying microbial levels. Specifically, we reveal Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs), i.e., distinguished material curves which shape global mixing patterns and thus act as skeletons of the Lagrangian circulation. We show how these material curves, which shape circulation and mixing patterns, can be used to explain the incongruous states of the water at each that should comparable. We construct low-cost, satellite-tracked drifters for use in very shallow coastal areas and perform field experiments at each of the four beaches to validate the LCSs extracted from simulated currents.

Keywords

beaches; Lagrangian coherent structures; coastal; pollution; transport barriers

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