Quantifying the residence time and flushing characteristics of a shallow, back-barrier estuary : application of hydrodynamic and particle tracking models
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordHydrodynamic modeling; Residence time; Particle tracking; Back-barrier estuaries; Eutrophication
Estuarine residence time is a major driver of eutrophication and water quality. Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor (BB-LEH), New Jersey, is a lagoonal back-barrier estuary that is subject to anthropogenic pressures including nutrient loading, eutrophication, and subsequent declines in water quality. A combination of hydrodynamic and particle tracking modeling was used to identify the mechanisms controlling flushing, residence time, and spatial variability of particle retention. The models demonstrated a pronounced northward subtidal flow from Little Egg Inlet in the south to Pt. Pleasant Canal in the north due to frictional effects in the inlets, leading to better flushing of the southern half of the estuary and particle retention in the northern estuary. Mean residence time for BB-LEH was 13 days but spatial variability was between ∼0 and 30 days depending on the initial particle location. Mean residence time with tidal forcing alone was 24 days (spatial variability between ∼0 and 50 days); the tides were relatively inefficient in flushing the northern end of the Bay. Scenarios with successive exclusion of physical processes from the models revealed that meteorological and remote offshore forcing were stronger drivers of exchange than riverine inflow. Investigations of water quality and eutrophication should take into account spatial variability in hydrodynamics and residence time in order to better quantify the roles of nutrient loading, production, and flushing.
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Estuaries and Coasts 38 (2015): 1719-1734, doi:10.1007/s12237-014-9885-3.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Temperature and residence time controls on an estuarine harmful algal bloom : modeling hydrodynamics and Alexandrium fundyense in Nauset estuary Ralston, David K.; Brosnahan, Michael L.; Fox, Sophia E.; Lee, Krista D.; Anderson, Donald M. (2015-01)A highly resolved, 3-d model of hydrodynamics and Alexandrium fundyense in an estuarine embayment has been developed to investigate the physical and biological controls on a recurrent harmful algal bloom. Nauset estuary ...
Evolution of Mid-Atlantic coastal and back-barrier estuary environments in response to a hurricane : implications for barrier-estuary connectivity Miselis, Jennifer L.; Andrews, Brian D.; Nicholson, Robert S.; Defne, Zafer; Ganju, Neil K.; Navoy, Anthony (Springer, 2015-12-29)Assessments of coupled barrier island-estuary storm response are rare. Hurricane Sandy made landfall during an investigation in Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary that included water quality monitoring, geomorphologic ...
Ganju, Neil K.; Miselis, Jennifer L.; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2014-12-17)Light attenuation is a critical parameter governing the ecological function of shallow estuaries. In these systems primary production is often dominated by benthic macroalgae and seagrass; thus light penetration to the bed ...