No Thumbnail Available
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
ArticleCascading weather events amplify the coastal thermal conditions prior to the shelf transit of Hurricane Sally (2020)(American Geophysical Union, 2021-12-05) Dzwonkowski, Brian ; Fournier, Séverine ; Lockridge, Grant R. ; Coogan, Jeffrey ; Liu, Zhilong ; Park, KyeongChanges in tropical cyclone intensity prior to landfall represent a significant risk to human life and coastal infrastructure. Such changes can be influenced by shelf water temperatures through their role in mediating heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. However, the evolution of shelf sea surface temperature during a storm is dependent on the initial thermal conditions of the water column, information that is often unavailable. Here, observational data from multiple monitoring stations and satellite sensors were used to identify the sequence of events that led to the development of storm-favorable thermal conditions in the Mississippi Bight prior to the transit of Hurricane Sally (2020), a storm that rapidly intensified over the shelf. The annual peak in depth-average temperature of >29°C that occurred prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sally was the result of two distinct warming periods caused by a cascade of weather events. The event sequence transitioned the system from below average to above average thermal conditions over a 25-day period. The transition was initiated with the passage of Hurricane Marco (2020), which mixed the upper water column, transferring heat downward and minimizing the cold bottom water reserved over the shelf. The subsequent reheating of the upper ocean by surface heat flux from the atmosphere, followed by downwelling winds, effectively elevated shelf-wide thermal conditions for the subsequent storm, Hurricane Sally. The coupling of climatological downwelling winds and warm sea surface temperature suggest regions with such characteristics are at an elevated risk for storm intensification over the shelf.
ArticleHurricane Sally (2020) shifts the ocean thermal structure across the inner core during rapid intensification over the shelf(American Meteorological Society, 2022-11-01) Dzwonkowski, Brian ; Fournier, Séverine ; Lockridge, Grant R. ; Coogan, Jeffrey ; Liu, Zhilong ; Park, KyeongPrediction of rapid intensification in tropical cyclones prior to landfall is a major societal issue. While air–sea interactions are clearly linked to storm intensity, the connections between the underlying thermal conditions over continental shelves and rapid intensification are limited. Here, an exceptional set of in situ and satellite data are used to identify spatial heterogeneity in sea surface temperatures across the inner core of Hurricane Sally (2020), a storm that rapidly intensified over the shelf. A leftward shift in the region of maximum cooling was observed as the hurricane transited from the open gulf to the shelf. This shift was generated, in part, by the surface heat flux in conjunction with the along- and across-shelf transport of heat from storm-generated coastal circulation. The spatial differences in the sea surface temperatures were large enough to potentially influence rapid intensification processes suggesting that coastal thermal features need to be accounted for to improve storm forecasting as well as to better understand how climate change will modify interactions between tropical cyclones and the coastal ocean.
ArticleMassive pollutants released to Galveston Bay during Hurricane Harvey: Understanding their retention and pathway using Lagrangian numerical simulations(Elsevier, 2019-11-21) Du, Jiabi ; Park, Kyeong ; Yu, Xin ; Zhang, Yinglong J. ; Ye, FeiIncreasing frequency of extreme precipitation events under the future warming climate makes the storm-related pollutant release more and more threatening to coastal ecosystems. Hurricane Harvey, a 1000-year extreme precipitation event, caused massive pollutant release from the Houston metropolitan area to the adjacent Galveston Bay. 0.57 × 106 tons of raw sewage and 22,000 barrels of oil, refined fuels and chemicals were reportly released during Harvey, which would likely deteriorate the water quality and damage the coastal ecosystem. Using a Lagrangian particle-tracking method coupled with a validated 3D hydrodynamic model, we examined the retention, pathway, and fate of the released pollutants. A new timescale, local exposure time (LET), is introduced to quantitatively evaluate the spatially varying susceptibility inside the bay and over the shelf, with a larger LET indicating the region is more susceptible to the released pollutants. We found LET inside the bay is at least one order of magnitude larger for post-storm release than storm release due to a quick recovery in the system's flushing. More than 90% of pollutants released during the storm exited the bay within two days, while those released after the storm could stay inside the bay for up to three months. This implies that post-storm release is potentially more damaging to water quality and ecosystem health. Our results suggest that not only the amount of total pollutant load but also the release timing should be considered when assessing a storm's environmental and ecological influence, because there could be large amounts of pollutants steadily and slowly discharged after storm through groundwater, sewage systems, and reservoirs.
ArticleCompounding impact of severe weather events fuels marine heatwave in the coastal ocean(Nature Research, 2020-09-22) Dzwonkowski, Brian ; Coogan, Jeffrey ; Fournier, Séverine ; Lockridge, Grant R. ; Park, Kyeong ; Lee, TongExposure to extreme events is a major concern in coastal regions where growing human populations and stressed natural ecosystems are at significant risk to such phenomena. However, the complex sequence of processes that transform an event from notable to extreme can be challenging to identify and hence, limit forecast abilities. Here, we show an extreme heat content event (i.e., a marine heatwave) in coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico resulted from compounding effects of a tropical storm followed by an atmospheric heatwave. This newly identified process of generating extreme ocean temperatures occurred prior to landfall of Hurricane Michael during October of 2018 and, as critical contributor to storm intensity, likely contributed to the subsequent extreme hurricane. This pattern of compounding processes will also exacerbate other environmental problems in temperature-sensitive ecosystems (e.g., coral bleaching, hypoxia) and is expected to have expanding impacts under global warming predictions.
ArticleUse of settlement patterns and geochemical tagging to test population connectivity of eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica(Inter Research, 2021-09-02) Gancel, Haley N. ; Carmichael, Ruth H. ; Du, Jiabi ; Park, KyeongFreshwater-dominated estuaries experience large fluctuations in their physical and chemical environments which may influence larval dispersal, settlement, and connectivity of populations with pelagic larval stages. We used settlement patterns and natural tagging along with numerical hydrodynamic model results to assess settlement and connectivity among oysters across the freshwater-dominated Mobile Bay-eastern Mississippi Sound (MB-EMS) system. Specifically, we (1) tested how freshwater inputs and associated environmental attributes influenced settlement patterns during high and low discharge conditions in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and (2) analyzed trace element (TE) ratios incorporated into multiple shell types (larval and settled shell of spat and adult shells) to determine if shells collected in situ incorporate temporally stable site-specific signatures. We also assessed if TE ratios compared between adult (TE natal signature proxy) and larval shells could infer connectivity. Larval settlement was 4× higher during low discharge than during high discharge when oyster larvae only settled in higher salinity regions (EMS). Spat and adult shells incorporated site-specific TE ratios that varied from weeks to months. Connectivity results (May-June 2016 only) suggest that EMS is an important larval source to EMS and lower MB. While we were able to infer probable connectivity patterns using adult and larval shells, more study is needed to assess the utility of adult shells as proxies for natal-location TE signatures. Results provide a baseline for measuring future larval connectivity and adult distribution changes in the MB-EMS system. Biological and geochemical data demonstrate the potential to identify environmental attributes that spatiotemporally mediate settlement and connectivity in dynamic systems.