Ostrowski, R., Schönhofer, J., Stella, M., Grave, A., Babakov, A., Chubarenko, B.

South Baltic rip currents detected by a field survey


The paper presents results of experimental investigations of currents in the nearshore region of the south Baltic Sea. The analysis is based on the field data collected near Lubiatowo (Poland) using the measuring equipment which was simultaneously operated both by the Polish and Russian research teams. The venture was aimed at detection of rip currents that are rare and insufficiently explored phenomena in the south Baltic coastal zone. The data include wind velocity and direction, deep-water wave buoy records and currents surveyed by means of drifters. The measurements were carried out in the area whose hydrodynamics, lithodynamics and morphodynamics are typical of the south Baltic sandy coast. It appears that the nearshore water flows are mostly represented by longshore wave-driven currents with mean velocities of 0.22–0.53 m/s, and the maximum velocity of 1.32 m/s. Water circulation patterns resembling rip currents with velocities of up to 0.34 m/s were identified only on one day, when specific wave conditions occurred at the study site. Contrary to strong longshore currents generated by storm waves, rip currents occur under mild or moderate wave conditions, when many beach users are willing to swim in nearshore waters. The present findings can therefore be useful for the improvement of swimmers’ safety in the south Baltic Sea regions.

Doi https://doi.org/10.5200/baltica.2020.1.2

Keywords Baltic Sea; coastal currents; drifters; waves; wind

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