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Monday, October 26, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Insights into circulation and sediment dynamics of an energetic estuary using unstructured grid

Jesse Lopez
Oregon Health & Science University

Estuaries, bodies of water found at the interface of the ocean and tidal rivers, are among the most biologically productive environments in the world. Study of these environments requires capturing the complex dynamics within estuaries and the interactions between fresh water sources, the estuary proper, and adjacent coastal regions. Circulation and sediment dynamics occur on spatial scales ranging from meters to kilometers and temporal scales spanning tens of minutes to years. The multi-scale nature of estuarine processes requires a modeling approach sufficiently flexible to span multiple spatial scales, yet computationally efficient enough to perform multi-year simulations in a reasonable time frame. Here we will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and applications of the development of an unstructured grid sediment model for the Columbia River estuary as a critical step towards the development of a system-wide biogeochemical modeling system. Discussion will include our approach to overcoming computational bottlenecks and changes to our approach in development of simulation databases. Finally, we will present applications of the sediment model including development of a daily sediment forecasts, light limitation models, estimates of microbial productivity, and the impact of sediment dynamics in the calculation of habitat availability for federally protected salmonid species.

Host: Mark Petersen