Nearshore sticky waters

Juan M. Restrepo, Shankar C. Venkataramani, Clint Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Wind- and current-driven flotsam, oil spills, pollutants, and nutrients, approaching the nearshore will frequently appear to slow down/park just beyond the break zone, where waves break. Moreover, the portion of these tracers that beach will do so only after a long time. Explaining why these tracers park and at what rate they reach the shore has important implications on a variety of different nearshore environmental issues, including the determination of what subscale processes are essential in computer models for the simulation of pollutant transport in the nearshore. Using a simple model we provide an explanation for the underlying mechanism responsible for the parking of tracers, not subject to inertial effects, the role played by the bottom topography, and the non-uniform dispersion which leads, in some circumstances, to the eventual landing of all or a portion of the tracers. We refer to the parking phenomenon in this environment as nearshore sticky waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalOcean Modelling
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Mixing and dispersion
  • Oil slick
  • Pollutant transport
  • Shallow water flows
  • Waves and currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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