Langmuir Supercells: A Mechanism for Sediment Resuspension and Transport in Shallow Seas

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Science  10 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5703, pp. 1925-1928
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100849

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Recent measurements at a cabled sea-floor node in 15 meters of water off the coast of New Jersey suggest that Langmuir supercells, Langmuir circulations that achieve vertical scales equal to the water depth under extended storms, are an important mechanism for major sediment resuspension events on the extensive shallow shelves off the eastern U.S. coast. Because sediment resuspension is a prelude to transport, supercell events are a necessary condition for major sediment transport. Such events may also contribute to shelf-sea exchange and to offshore gradation of benthic community structure in shallow seas.

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