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1 January 2009 Effects of Low Water Temperature on Longshore Sediment Transport on a Subarctic Beach, Hudson Bay, Canada
Arnaud Héquette, Patrick Tremblay
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Measurements of longshore sand transport, wave breaker height, longshore current velocity, and water temperature and salinity were carred out on a subarctic beach under varying water temperature conditions during summer and fall. Water temperature during summer varied from 9°C to 17°C, while temperature ranged from −1.75°C to 1.25°C during the fall experiments. During periods with low water temperatures, considerably higher rates in both bedload and suspended sediment transport were observed compared with the results obtained during summer with similar wave heights and current velocities. The increase in suspended sediment transport associated with low water temperatures is likely due to lower sediment fall velocities resulting from significant increases in fluid kinematic viscosity, which ranged from 1.1 to 1.37 × 10−6 m2 s−1 in summer and from 1.74 to 1.92 × 10−6 m2 s−1 in the fall. Less but still significant increase in bedload sediment transport in cold water is interpreted to be the result of temperature-induced variations in fluid viscosity that affect turbulence and boundary layer dynamics as well as bed configuration. Frazil ice occurred on some occasions during the fall experiments, but with the small number of samples collected when frazil ice crystals were present in the water column, it was not possible to establish a relationship between sediment transport rates and the presence or absence of ice. Our results nevertheless indicate that in cold climate regions extremely low water temperatures may cause a substantial increase of coastal sediment transport.

Arnaud Héquette and Patrick Tremblay "Effects of Low Water Temperature on Longshore Sediment Transport on a Subarctic Beach, Hudson Bay, Canada," Journal of Coastal Research 2009(251), 171-180, (1 January 2009).
Received: 29 June 2007; Accepted: 12 December 2007; Published: 1 January 2009

fluid viscosity
Hudson Bay
Longshore sediment transport
subarctic beach
water temperature
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