Large Seasonal Modulation of Tides Due to Ice Cover Friction in a Mid-Latitude Estuary

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Battered by tides, ice, storms, and human activity, nearly half of New York state's Hudson River shoreline has been “armored up ” by structures such as steel bulkheads or rock revetments. While these structures can protect vulnerable infrastructure in high-energy situations, they also disrupt surrounding habitats. In response, the Hudson River Reserve launched the Sustainable Shorelines project, a long-term, collaborative initiative that is advancing understanding of the engineering, economic, and ecological tradeoffs of using different shoreline management options today—and as the climate shifts and sea levels rise—for generations to come.

About this article

As part of this project, a team member investigated the impacts of ice on tidal hydrodynamics in the Hudson River Estuary. This analysis, published in the Journal of Physical Oceanography in 2012, showed that under-ice friction is the main cause of observed tidal modulations and that astronomical tide predictions, tidal datums, and forecast model predictions are compromised by neglecting to include ice dynamics.


Georgas, N., 2011. Large Seasonal Modulation of Tides due to Ice Cover Friction in a Midlatitude Estuary. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 42, 352-369.