Numerical issues of the Total Exchange Flow (TEF) analysis framework for quantifying estuarine circulation

Lorenz, Marvin; Klingbeil, Knut; MacCready, Parker; Burchard, Hans

For more than a century, estuarine exchange flow has been quantified by means of the Knudsen relations which connect bulk quantities such as inflow and outflow volume fluxes and salinities. These relations are closely linked to estuarine mixing. The recently developed Total Exchange Flow (TEF) analysis framework, which uses salinity coordinates to calculate these bulk quantities, allows an exact formulation of the Knudsen relations in realistic cases. There are however numerical issues, since the original method does not converge to the TEF bulk values for an increasing number of salinity classes. In the present study, this problem is investigated and the method of dividing salinities, described by MacCready et al. (2018), is mathematically introduced. A challenging yet compact analytical scenario for a well-mixed estuarine exchange flow is investigated for both methods, showing the proper convergence of the dividing salinity method. Furthermore, the dividing salinity method is applied to model results of the Baltic Sea to demonstrate the analysis of realistic exchange flows and exchange flows with more than two layers.

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Lorenz, Marvin / Klingbeil, Knut / MacCready, Parker / et al: Numerical issues of the Total Exchange Flow (TEF) analysis framework for quantifying estuarine circulation. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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