RELEVANCE OF COASTAL PROCESSES ON THE HYDRODYNAMICS OF THE GULF OF URABÁ (COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN SEA)
This paper deals with a methodology to quantitatively determine the effect of a number of coastal processes and external forcing on the hydrodynamics of the Urabá Gulf, which are preliminarily assumed to affect flow behavior. According to this purpose, a coupled flow-wave numerical simulation at the Uraba Gulf is performed by means of the Delft3D modeling system. The simulation includes the following processes: (i) the marine influence through the tidal forcing at the northern boundary of the Gulf; (ii) waves; (iii) thermal and salinity stratification; (iv) wind drag, and (v) fluvial influence through the discharges of the Atrato river and other secondary tributaries. The importance of a specific process and the region inside the Gulf where it is predominant, is defined through the proposed methodology. The analysis evidences the importance, and extended effect, of the Atrato river and the density currents on the magnitude of the flow velocities. Other processes are relevant over certain areas of the Gulf, which present special conditions, such as depth, energy, season, and coastal landforms, thus allowing them to stand out when compared to the main processes.
Uraba Gulf; Coastal processes; Spatial sensitivity analysis; Numerical modeling
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