Physical response of a back-barrier estuary to a post-tropical cyclone
Ganju, Neil K.
Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordChincoteague Bay; Hurricane Sandy; Numerical modeling; Back-barrier bay; Wave setup; Sediment transport
This paper presents a modeling investigation of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport response of Chincoteague Bay (VA/MD, USA) to Hurricane Sandy using the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment-Transport (COAWST) modeling system. Several simulation scenarios with different combinations of remote and local forces were conducted to identify the dominant physical processes. While 80% of the water level increase in the bay was due to coastal sea level at the peak of the storm, a rich spatial and temporal variability in water surface slope was induced by local winds and waves. Local wind increased vertical mixing, horizontal exchanges, and flushing through the inlets. Remote waves (swell) enhanced southward flow through wave setup gradients between the inlets, and increased locally generated wave heights. Locally generated waves had a negligible effect on water level but reduced the residual flow up to 70% due to enhanced apparent roughness and breaking-induced forces. Locally generated waves dominated bed shear stress and sediment resuspension in the bay. Sediment transport patterns mirrored the interior coastline shape and generated deposition on inundated areas. The bay served as a source of fine sediment to the inner shelf, and the ocean-facing barrier island accumulated sand from landward-directed overwash. Despite the intensity of the storm forcing, the bathymetric changes in the bay were on the order of centimeters. This work demonstrates the spectrum of responses to storm forcing, and highlights the importance of local and remote processes on back-barrier estuarine function.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 5888–5904, doi:10.1002/2016JC012344.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122 (2017): 5888–5904
The following license files are associated with this item:
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
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.; Suttles, Steven E.; Beudin, Alexis; Nowacki, Daniel J.; Miselis, Jennifer L.; Andrews, Brian D. (Springer, 2016-07-26)Geomorphology is a fundamental control on ecological and economic function of estuaries. However, relative to open coasts, there has been little quantification of storm-induced bathymetric change in back-barrier estuaries. ...
Flow and geochemistry of groundwater beneath a back-barrier lagoon : the subterranean estuary at Chincoteague Bay, Maryland, USA Bratton, John F.; Bohlke, John K.; Krantz, David E.; Tobias, Craig R. (Elsevier B.V., 2009-01-21)To better understand large-scale interactions between fresh and saline groundwater beneath an Atlantic coastal estuary, an offshore drilling and sampling study was performed in a large barrier-bounded lagoon, Chincoteague ...