Rip-current pulses tied to Lagrangian coherent structures

A. J H M Reniers, J. H. MacMahan, Francisco J Beron-Vera, Maria J Olascoaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The trapping and ejection of surfzone floating material is examined by unveiling Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) hidden in the pulsating rip-current surface velocity field produced by a three-dimensional numerical model resolving wave-group induced Very Low Frequency motions (VLFs). LCSs explain the typically observed patchiness of flotsam within the surf zone and the streaky distribution outside of the surf zone. The ejection of surfzone material occurs when filament-like LCSs separate form the main ripcurrent circulation corresponding to a situation where eddies temporarily extend the rip current beyond the surf zone and subsequently detach. The LCSs support the idea that VLFs form the dominant exchange mechanism of surfzone floating material with the inner shelf.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL05605
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

rip current
surf zone
pulses
ejection
floating
wave group
support structure
patchiness
very low frequencies
trapping
eddy
shelves
filaments
velocity distribution
vortices
material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Rip-current pulses tied to Lagrangian coherent structures. / Reniers, A. J H M; MacMahan, J. H.; Beron-Vera, Francisco J; Olascoaga, Maria J.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 37, No. 5, L05605, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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