Harris Courtney K.

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Courtney K.

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Article
    Tidal variation in cohesive sediment distribution and sensitivity to flocculation and bed consolidation in an idealized, partially mixed estuary
    (MDPI, 2019-09-25) Tarpley, Danielle R.N. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    Particle settling velocity and erodibility are key factors that govern the transport of sediment through coastal environments including estuaries. These are difficult to parameterize in models that represent mud, whose properties can change in response to many factors, including tidally varying suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and shear stress. Using the COAWST (Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport) model framework, we implemented bed consolidation, sediment-induced stratification, and flocculation formulations within an idealized two-dimensional domain that represented the longitudinal dimension of a micro-tidal, muddy, partially mixed estuary. Within the Estuarine Turbidity Maximum (ETM), SSC and median floc diameter varied by a factor of four over the tidal cycle. Downstream of the ETM, the median floc size and SSC were several times smaller and showed less tidal variation (~20% or less). The suspended floc distributions only reached an equilibrium size as a function of SSC and shear in the ETM at peak tidal flow. In general, flocculation increased particle size, which reduced SSC by half in the ETM through increased settling velocity. Consolidation also limited SSC by reduced resuspension, which then limited floc growth through reduced SSC by half outside of the ETM. Sediment-induced stratification had negligible effects in the parameter space examined. Efforts to lessen the computation cost of the flocculation routine by reducing the number of size classes proved difficult; floc size distribution and SSC were sensitive to specification of size classes by factors of 60% and 300%, respectively.
  • Article
    Model behavior and sensitivity in an application of the Cohesive Bed Component of the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System for the York River estuary, VA, USA
    (MDPI AG, 2014-05-19) Fall, Kelsey A. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Friedrichs, Carl T. ; Rinehimer, J. Paul ; Sherwood, Christopher R.
    The Community Sediment Transport Modeling System (CSTMS) cohesive bed sub-model that accounts for erosion, deposition, consolidation, and swelling was implemented in a three-dimensional domain to represent the York River estuary, Virginia. The objectives of this paper are to (1) describe the application of the three-dimensional hydrodynamic York Cohesive Bed Model, (2) compare calculations to observations, and (3) investigate sensitivities of the cohesive bed sub-model to user-defined parameters. Model results for summer 2007 showed good agreement with tidal-phase averaged estimates of sediment concentration, bed stress, and current velocity derived from Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) field measurements. An important step in implementing the cohesive bed model was specification of both the initial and equilibrium critical shear stress profiles, in addition to choosing other parameters like the consolidation and swelling timescales. This model promises to be a useful tool for investigating the fundamental controls on bed erodibility and settling velocity in the York River, a classical muddy estuary, provided that appropriate data exists to inform the choice of model parameters.
  • Article
    Impact of seabed resuspension on oxygen and nitrogen dynamics in the northern Gulf of Mexico : a numerical modeling study
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-10-15) Moriarty, Julia M. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Fennel, Katja ; Xu, Kehui
    Resuspension affects water quality in coastal environments by entraining seabed organic matter into the water column, which can increase remineralization, alter seabed fluxes, decrease water clarity, and affect oxygen and nutrient dynamics. Nearly all numerical models of water column biogeochemistry, however, simplify seabed and bottom boundary layer processes and neglect resuspension. Here we implemented HydroBioSed, a coupled hydrodynamic‐sediment transport‐biogeochemical model to examine the role of resuspension in regulating oxygen and nitrogen dynamics on timescales of a day to a month. The model was implemented for the northern Gulf of Mexico, where the extent of summertime hypoxia is sensitive to seabed and bottom boundary layer processes. Results indicated that particulate organic matter remineralization in the bottom water column increased by an order of magnitude during resuspension events. This increased sediment oxygen consumption and ammonium production, which were defined as the sum of seabed fluxes of oxygen and ammonium, plus oxygen consumption and ammonium production in the water column due to resuspended organic matter. The increases in remineralization impacted biogeochemical dynamics to a greater extent than resuspension‐induced seabed fluxes and oxidation of reduced chemical species. The effect of resuspension on bottom water biogeochemistry increased with particulate organic matter availability, which was modulated by sediment transport patterns. Overall, when averaged over the shelf and on timescales of a month in the numerical model, cycles of erosion and deposition accounted for about two thirds of sediment oxygen consumption and almost all of the sediment ammonium production.
  • Article
    Sediment dispersal in the northwestern Adriatic Sea
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-10-29) Harris, Courtney K. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Signell, Richard P. ; Bever, Aaron J. ; Warner, John C.
    Sediment dispersal in the Adriatic Sea was evaluated using coupled three-dimensional circulation and sediment transport models, representing conditions from autumn 2002 through spring 2003. The calculations accounted for fluvial sources, resuspension by waves and currents, and suspended transport. Sediment fluxes peaked during southwestward Bora wind conditions that produced energetic waves and strengthened the Western Adriatic Coastal Current. Transport along the western Adriatic continental shelf was nearly always to the south, except during brief periods when northward Sirocco winds reduced the coastal current. Much of the modeled fluvial sediment deposition was near river mouths, such as the Po subaqueous delta. Nearly all Po sediment remained in the northern Adriatic. Material from rivers that drain the Apennine Mountains traveled farther before deposition than Po sediment, because it was modeled with a lower settling velocity. Fluvial sediment delivered to areas with high average bed shear stress was more highly dispersed than material delivered to more quiescent areas. Modeled depositional patterns were similar to observed patterns that have developed over longer timescales. Specifically, modeled Po sediment accumulation was thickest near the river mouth with a very thin deposit extending to the northeast, consistent with patterns of modern sediment texture in the northern Adriatic. Sediment resuspended from the bed and delivered by Apennine Rivers was preferentially deposited on the northern side of the Gargano Peninsula, in the location of thick Holocene accumulation. Deposition here was highest during Bora winds when convergences in current velocities and off-shelf flux enhanced delivery of material to the midshelf.
  • Article
    Flood dispersal and deposition by near-bed gravitational sediment flows and oceanographic transport : a numerical modeling study of the Eel River shelf, northern California
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-09-30) Harris, Courtney K. ; Traykovski, Peter A. ; Geyer, W. Rockwell
    A large flood of the Eel River, northern California, created a thick sediment deposit between water depths of 50 and 70 m in January 1997. The freshwater plume, however, confined sediment delivery to water depths shallower than 30 m. Mechanisms proposed to explain the apparent cross-shelf transport include dispersal by oceanographic currents, resuspension by energetic waves, and gravitationally forced transport of a thin layer of fluidized mud. Field observations indicate that these processes were all active but cannot determine their relative significance or whether these mechanisms alone explain the location, size, and timing of deposition. Approximately 30% of the sediment delivered by the Eel River is accounted for in the midshelf mud bed and inner shelf, but the fate of the remaining 70% is uncertain. A three-dimensional, hydrodynamic model was used to examine potential mechanisms of sediment transport on the Eel River shelf. The model includes suspended sediment transport and was modified to account for a thin, near-bed layer of fluidized mud. It was used to simulate flood dispersal on the Eel River shelf, to compare the relative importance of transport within the near-bed fluid mud layer to suspended sediment transport, and to evaluate sediment budgets for floods. Settling properties of fine-grained sediment, both within the flood plume and the fluid mud layer, critically impact depositional patterns. To a lesser degree, wind-driven ocean currents influence the volume of sediment that escapes the shelf, and wave magnitude affects the cross-shelf location of flood deposits. Though dilute suspension accounts for a large fraction of total flux, cross-shelf transport by gravitational forcing appears necessary to produce a midshelf mud deposit similar in volume, location, and timing to those seen offshore of the Eel River.
  • Article
    Sediment transport model including short-lived radioisotopes: Model description and idealized test cases
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-11-27) Birchler, Justin J. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Kniskern, Tara A.
    Geochronologies derived from sediment cores in coastal locations are often used to infer event bed characteristics such as deposit thicknesses and accumulation rates. Such studies commonly use naturally occurring, short-lived radioisotopes, such as Beryllium-7 (7Be) and Thorium-234 (234Th), to study depositional and post-depositional processes. These radioisotope activities, however, are not generally represented in sediment transport models that characterize coastal flood and storm deposition with grain size patterns and deposit thicknesses. We modified the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System (CSTMS) to account for reactive tracers and used this capability to represent the behavior of these short-lived radioisotopes on the sediment bed. This paper describes the model and presents results from a set of idealized, one-dimensional (vertical) test cases. The model configuration represented fluvial deposition followed by periods of episodic storm resuspension. Sensitivity tests explored the influence on seabed radioisotope profiles by the intensities of bioturbation and wave resuspension and the thickness of fluvial deposits. The intensity of biodiffusion affected the persistence of fluvial event beds as evidenced by 7Be. Both resuspension and biodiffusion increased the modeled seabed inventory of 234Th. A thick fluvial deposit increased the seabed inventory of 7Be and 234Th but mixing over time greatly reduced the difference in inventory of 234Th in fluvial deposits of different thicknesses.
  • Article
    The vertical structure of the circulation and dynamics in Hudson Shelf Valley
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-06-11) Lentz, Steven J. ; Butman, Bradford ; Harris, Courtney K.
    Hudson Shelf Valley is a 20–30 m deep, 5–10 km wide v-shaped submarine valley that extends across the Middle Atlantic Bight continental shelf. The valley provides a conduit for cross-shelf exchange via along-valley currents of 0.5 m s−1 or more. Current profile, pressure, and density observations collected during the winter of 1999–2000 are used to examine the vertical structure and dynamics of the flow. Near-bottom along-valley currents having times scales of a few days are driven by cross-shelf pressure gradients setup by wind stresses, with eastward (westward) winds driving onshore (offshore) flow within the valley. The along-valley momentum balance in the bottom boundary layer is predominantly between the pressure gradient and bottom stress because the valley bathymetry limits current veering. Above the bottom boundary layer, the flow veers toward an along-shelf (cross-valley) orientation and a geostrophic balance with some contribution from the wind stress (surface Ekman layer). The vertical structure and strength of the along-valley current depends on the magnitude and direction of the wind stress. During offshore flows driven by westward winds, the near-bottom stratification within the valley increases resulting in a thinner bottom boundary layer and weaker offshore currents. Conversely, during onshore flows driven by eastward winds the near-bottom stratification decreases resulting in a thicker bottom boundary layer and stronger onshore currents. Consequently, for wind stress magnitudes exceeding 0.1 N m−2, onshore along-valley transport associated with eastward wind stress exceeds the offshore transport associated with westward wind stress of the same magnitude.
  • Article
    Cohesive and mixed sediment in the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS v3.6) implemented in the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport Modeling System (COAWST r1234)
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2018-05-14) Sherwood, Christopher R. ; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Harris, Courtney K. ; Rinehimer, J. Paul ; Verney, Romaric ; Ferré, Bénédicte
    We describe and demonstrate algorithms for treating cohesive and mixed sediment that have been added to the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS version 3.6), as implemented in the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport Modeling System (COAWST Subversion repository revision 1234). These include the following: floc dynamics (aggregation and disaggregation in the water column); changes in floc characteristics in the seabed; erosion and deposition of cohesive and mixed (combination of cohesive and non-cohesive) sediment; and biodiffusive mixing of bed sediment. These routines supplement existing non-cohesive sediment modules, thereby increasing our ability to model fine-grained and mixed-sediment environments. Additionally, we describe changes to the sediment bed layering scheme that improve the fidelity of the modeled stratigraphic record. Finally, we provide examples of these modules implemented in idealized test cases and a realistic application.