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Modeling tidal distortion in the Ogeechee Estuary

Bruder, Brittany, Bomminayuni, Sandeep Kumar, Haas, Kevin and Stoesser, Thorsten 2014. Modeling tidal distortion in the Ogeechee Estuary. Ocean Modelling 82 , pp. 60-69. 10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.08.004

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Abstract

A 3D numerical model is used to simulate the distortion of tidal hydrodynamics in the Ogeechee Estuary, GA. The Ogeechee, like many estuaries found in the Southeastern US, consists of shallow channel networks and extensive intertidal storage in the form of wetlands. Such features are known to induce non-linear overtide generation and significant tidal distortion, otherwise known as tidal stage asymmetry. Simulations are run with varying parameters to assess their effects on modeling tidal distortion for the Ogeechee Estuary: bottom friction coefficients, enhanced wetland friction coefficients, and tidal flat elevations. To succinctly quantify the degree of distortion across the domain, the statistical parameters of skewness and asymmetry are calculated for time series of water surface heights and channel volume fluxes. The intertidal storage causes the peak flood flux to occur later and the peak ebb flux to occur earlier, thereby resulting in positive asymmetry for the volume flux for the full estuary. However, ebb dominance is a localized feature and varies throughout the estuary. Increasing the intertidal storage by lowering wetland elevation enhances the effects on high tide and volume flux magnitudes, decreasing the ebb-dominance and volume flux asymmetry typically associated with intertidal storage thereby indicating the importance of the wetland elevation over the total storage volume. Increased channel bottom friction reduces ebb-dominance by extending the duration of the falling tide. More interestingly, increased wetland friction reduces the influence of wetland intertidal storage on tidal distortion. The model suggests an increase in wetland friction does little to dampen wave propagation at high tide but rather impedes the lateral flooding of wetlands, reducing ebb dominance. Tidal flat elevation has the largest impact on distortion for the Ogeechee Estuary whereas enhanced wetland and bottom frictional influences on distortion are small, albeit not insignificant.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1463-5003
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 12:30
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/67576

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