Observation and Modeling of the Circulation in the Chesapeake Bay
In recent years, our understanding of circulation in the Chesapeake Bay has been greatly improved through long-term current meter measurement, and sophisticated numerical modeling. The circulation mainly consists of tide, river, density and wind-driven flow. The tidal current has larger amplitude, and is mainly responsible for the mixing and sediment re-suspension. On the other hand, because of its longer duration, the nontidal current determines the transport of salt, sediment and pollutant.
Vertical variations of the salinity and velocity distribution play the most important role in mixing and transport. Therefore, vertical dimension has to be included in the circulation model. By adapting the semi-implicit and mode-split method, efficient two-dimensional (in a vertical plane) and three-dimensional models have been developed, which reduce the computer time by orders of magnitude. Effective numerical modeling, coupled with sound observational basis, is crucial to the understanding of mixing and transport in a partially mixed estuary.
KeywordsTidal Current Estuarine Circulation Mixed Estuary Southward Wind August SEPTEMBER OCTOBER
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