Dense water formation and cross-shelf exchange on the Rottnest Continental Shelf in south-western Australia

Thisara Welhena, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Ming Feng

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    Using temperature and salinity (and associated density) data collected using autonomous ocean gliders along the Rottnest Continental Shelf, it is shown that dense shelf water cascade (DSWC) is a process that occurs throughout the year with varying degrees of intensity. DSWC is driven by a cross- shelf density gradient due to an increase in salinity due to evaporation in summer and autumn and due to cooling in winter. In summer, due to strong wind mixing and upwelling the occurrence of DSWC is minimal. A relative increase in density in the inshore regions allows for the transport of higher density water, which may be 20 m in thickness where the water depths are 40m, to be transported offshore near the sea bed. The density currents are estimated to be ~1-2 cms-1, which is similar to those measured in other similar regions globally. The DSWC plays an important role in cross-shore exchange of the water and material.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Australasian Coastal and Ocean Engineering Conference and the 13th Australasian Port and Harbour Conference : diverse and developing
    Place of PublicationBarton ACT, Australia
    PublisherEngineers Australia
    ISBN (Print)9780858258860
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventCoasts and Ports 2011: 20th Australasian coastal and ocean engineering conference and the 13th Australasian port and harbour conference - Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Australia
    Duration: 28 Sept 201130 Sept 2011


    ConferenceCoasts and Ports 2011


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