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The role of tidal mixing in Rupert and Holberg Inlets Drinkwater, Kenneth Francis

Abstract

Analysis of monthly observations of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen content in the basin formed by Rupert and Holberg Inlets reveals a greater degree of mixing than that found in most British Columbia Inlets. Although relatively uniform water properties are constantly found, there are large monthly variations of the actual values. The water temperature correlates with the solar radiation while the salinity changes follow the river runoff which is in turn controlled by precipitation. The variation in dissolved oxygen content appears due to a combination of biological influences and influx of Pacific Oceanic water. A model has been developed which ascribes the monthly fluctuations and vertical homogeneity to an accumulation of irregular mixing events associated with the tidal flow through Quatsino Narrows, a shallow connecting channel. Thermal microstructure measurements disclose a region of deep turbulent mixing near the narrows and provide evidence of an up-inlet flow beneath the thermocline in Rupert and Holberg Inlets.

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