An extensive hydrodynamic study of Grays Harbor, Washington was conducted
including data collection in Fall 1999and numerical model simulations. The measurements
show considerable wave attenuation through the inlet throat (factor of 10 decrease), flood
currents strongest on the north side of the inlet, and ebb currents more uniformly
distributed. The numerical models include wave and tidal circulation simulations and the
effects of tidal currents and change in water level on waves in an inlet entrance. Ebb
currents have the greatest influence and increase wave height 0.5-1.5 m. Flood currents
increase wave height at the seaward end of the entrance due to a local bathymetry-induced
flow reversal and reduce wave height (flatten waves) further inside the inlet entrance.
Water level has a minimal impact on waves in the inlet entrance, but does control wave
transformation in the back bay. Examination of the effect of tidal currents on wave
transformation and the modification of the current through wave radiation stresses will be
examined in the next stage of dynamic linking of models through the CIRP Steering
This work was performed as part of a mission-support activity for the U.S. Army
Engineer District, Seattle. Permission was granted by Headquarters, USACE to publish
this information. The cooperation of instrument manufacturers named in this work is
acknowledged, but no endorsement of equipment is implied.
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