Rip‐current pulses tied to Lagrangian coherent structures
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 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 rip‐current 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.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL041443
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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