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Harmonic analysis of tides and tidal currents in South San Francisco Bay, California

January 1, 1985

Water level observations from tide stations and current observations from current-meter moorings in South San Francisco Bay (South Bay), California have been harmonically analysed. At each tide station, 13 harmonic constituents have been computed by a least-squares regression without inference. Tides in South Bay are typically mixed; there is a phase lag of approximately 1 h and an amplification of 1·5 from north to south for a mean semi-diurnal tide. Because most of the current-meter records are between 14 and 29 days, only the five most important harmonics have been solved for east-west and north-south velocity components. The eccentricity of tidal-current ellipse is generally very small, which indicates that the tidal current in South Bay is strongly bidirectional. The analyses further show that the principal direction and the magnitude of tidal current are well correlated with the basin bathymetry. Patterns of Eulerian residual circulation deduced from the current-meter data show an anticlockwise gyre to the west and a clockwise gyre to the east of the main channel in the summer months due to the prevailing westerly wind. Opposite trends have been observed during winter when the wind was variable.

Publication Year 1985
Title Harmonic analysis of tides and tidal currents in South San Francisco Bay, California
DOI 10.1016/0272-7714(85)90006-X
Authors R. T. Cheng, J. W. Gartner
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Index ID 70012672
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization San Francisco Bay-Delta; Pacific Regional Director's Office