Event Title

Climate Change and Its Impact on Seasonal Patterns of Puget Sound Circulation

Presentation Abstract

In this research, we conduct an analysis of the circulation and transport in the Puget Sound with a focus on seasonal patterns under current and future scenarios. The coupled effects of the change in river flow characteristics and higher mean sea level are of concern due to potential impacts to coastal fisheries, water quality and circulations. Understanding the circulation pattern and estuarine exchange flows is an important step towards quantifying the impacts of future climate changes. Puget Sound estuary functions as a mixing zone that connects several major riverine freshwater inputs with ocean water. The circulation patterns are subject to differences in tidal amplitudes and phases of connected subbasin waters as well as the river runoff. In this study, we apply the FVCOM model for the entire Puget Sound-Georgia Basin region. A mass balance approach of flux calculation method, which is consistent with FVCOM model’s internal finite volume advection scheme, is used to compute the volume fluxes, fresh water fluxes and salt fluxes across vertical transects that connect several basins within the estuary and with outer domain. This method allows one to accurately keep track of the water mass balance in an unstructured grid model. With projected changes in snowpack melting and wind patterns over the region, river inputs will shift its seasonality away from Spring-Summer dominance. We quantify the impact of this riverine hydrological flow change on Puget Sound circulation patterns through flux analysis. The analysis will be presented in detail for year 2008 (current conditions) and year 2070 (projected conditions) based on hydrological loads corresponding to IPCC - A1B climate change scenario.

Session Title

Session S-02A: Future Salish Sea Water Quality

Conference Track

Marine Water Quality

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

30-4-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 3:00 PM

Location

Room 615-616-617

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 30th, 1:30 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

Climate Change and Its Impact on Seasonal Patterns of Puget Sound Circulation

Room 615-616-617

In this research, we conduct an analysis of the circulation and transport in the Puget Sound with a focus on seasonal patterns under current and future scenarios. The coupled effects of the change in river flow characteristics and higher mean sea level are of concern due to potential impacts to coastal fisheries, water quality and circulations. Understanding the circulation pattern and estuarine exchange flows is an important step towards quantifying the impacts of future climate changes. Puget Sound estuary functions as a mixing zone that connects several major riverine freshwater inputs with ocean water. The circulation patterns are subject to differences in tidal amplitudes and phases of connected subbasin waters as well as the river runoff. In this study, we apply the FVCOM model for the entire Puget Sound-Georgia Basin region. A mass balance approach of flux calculation method, which is consistent with FVCOM model’s internal finite volume advection scheme, is used to compute the volume fluxes, fresh water fluxes and salt fluxes across vertical transects that connect several basins within the estuary and with outer domain. This method allows one to accurately keep track of the water mass balance in an unstructured grid model. With projected changes in snowpack melting and wind patterns over the region, river inputs will shift its seasonality away from Spring-Summer dominance. We quantify the impact of this riverine hydrological flow change on Puget Sound circulation patterns through flux analysis. The analysis will be presented in detail for year 2008 (current conditions) and year 2070 (projected conditions) based on hydrological loads corresponding to IPCC - A1B climate change scenario.