Exchange flow through the Burlington Ship Canal

David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
Creator Tedford, Edmund W.
The currents in the Burlington Ship Canal were found to be the result of a variety of driving mechanisms. Wind driven upwelling at the western end of Lake Ontario creates a horizontal density gradient through the canal driving baroclinic currents. Wind initiated standing waves and lunar tides in Lake Ontario cause water surface gradients through the canal driving barotropic currents. The barotropic currents are also strongly affected by Helmholtz or Harbour Resonance. A water balance showed that baroclinic currents contributed more flow to the harbour than stream flow and waste water treatment plant flow, particularly during periods of intense lake upwelling. The water balance also showed that velocity observations from the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler were 19% less than predicted by the observed changes in Hamilton Harbour water level. The influence of the side wall boundary is suspected as the source of this difference.
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