Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 132–150 | Cite as

Influences of Channel Deepening and Widening on the Tidal and Nontidal Circulations of Tampa Bay

  • Jun Zhu
  • Robert H. WeisbergEmail author
  • Lianyuan Zheng
  • Shuzong Han


A high-resolution, three-dimensional coastal ocean circulation model is applied to Tampa Bay to determine the effects that channel deepening and widening may have on the estuary’s tidal and nontidal circulations. The model domain includes all of Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, the Intra-coastal Waterway, and the adjoining rivers. With resolution as high as 20 m, the model resolves the main shipping channels, the bridge causeways, and all important inlet mass conveyances. Model evaluations are made against in situ data and a previously published, relatively lower-resolution version. By deepening and widening the shipping channels for the purpose of accommodating larger vessels, our results suggest an increase in tidal range and a decrease in tidal phase from the mouth to the head of the bay. Along with these tidal effects, our results also suggest an increase in the nontidal circulation, resulting in an increase in salinity and attendant consequences to the estuary’s ecology.


Estuary circulation High-resolution modeling Channel alteration effects Tampa Bay Tidal and nontidal variations 



Zhu was supported by the China Scholarship Council. This work benefited from the Southeastern Universities Research Association-led US IOOS Model Testbed (NOAA award nos. NA10NOS0120063 and NA11NOS0120141) through which the authors were able to conduct some of the necessary model runs on the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Ranger managed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX. This work also benefitted from the BP/Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative via the Deep-C Consortium led by Dr. E. Chassignet and coordinated through Florida State University. The authors thank C. Chen (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth) for graciously sharing the FVCOM code. J. Donovan and P. Smith assisted with computational matters at USF.


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Robert H. Weisberg
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lianyuan Zheng
    • 2
  • Shuzong Han
    • 3
  1. 1.Third Institute of Oceanography, S.O.A.XiamenChina
  2. 2.College of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.College of Physical and Environmental OceanographyOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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