Numerical study of the wet-season hydrodynamics of a macrotidally forced bay with complex topography: Collier Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia

Wencai Zhou, Alexis Espinosa-Gayosso, Nicole Jones, Matthew Hipsey

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


The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) was employed to study the wet season hydrodynamics of Collier Bay in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed estuary is characterized by complex topography, macro-tides and highly seasonal freshwater inflow pulses. Freshwater inflows result in both horizontal and vertical density stratification. Tidally forced residual currents are much stronger around the islands and reefs, which is consistent with the complex topography. To study the interactive role of tides and freshwater inflows in determining the mass exchange in Collier Bay, Eulerian salt-flux decomposition and isohaline salt-flux decomposition are applied to a group of cross-sections distributed longitudinally from the river mouth to the open ocean. The Eulerian method decomposes the salt flux into three components to demonstrate the contribution of advection, exchange flow and tide-correlated flow to the net salt fluxes; the isohaline method provides more details about the salinity ranges of the downgradient and the upgradient components. Results show that bathymetric variation in different directions has different impacts on the interaction between tides and freshwater inflow in shaping salt fluxes and thus the horizontal mass exchange, which is helpful regarding a better understanding of the sediment and nutrient transport processes in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
EditorsGreg Ivey, Nicole Jones, Tongming Zhou
PublisherAustralian Fluid Mechanics Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781740523776
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016
Event20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference - University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20168 Dec 2016
Conference number: 20


Conference20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
Abbreviated titleAFMC
Internet address


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