Tidal and subtidal oscillations in a shallow water system in southern Brazil
Keywords:Mean tidal range, Sea level, High and low frequencies, AWAC
Sea level oscillations in time scales between hours and days have a great vertical amplitude regarding the low lying coastal gradient of the beaches in the Rio Grande do Sul coast. However, the mechanism of oscillations is poorly understood since the scarcity of observational data makes it impossible to determine the forces that control sea level oscillations. Therefore, hourly sea level and wind time series with a time period of 650 days were examined. It has been found that the mean tidal and subtidal amplitudes were very similar to each other and that a considerable portion of the energy from sea level oscillations was due to astronomical forces. A new perspective was introduced when high and low frequencies were compared, leading to the comprehension that astronomical tides should be considered in coastal studies in southern Brazil. The sea level time series analyzed in this study showed that the maximum amplitude of the high spring tide was 0.53m, and that the subtidal rise caused by the wind reached up to 0.66m. In general, when large tidal and subtidal amplitudes are added, it can generate extreme events of sea level rise on the coast, which constitute a direct threat to coastal communities and habitats.