Presentation Title

Sensitivities in modelling baroclinic currents and tides in the Strait of Georgia

Session Title

Salish Sea Estuarine Circulation

Conference Track

Habitat

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

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

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

Different types of internal wave and tide motion occur in the strongly stratified Strait of Georgia. Internal waves are disturbances in the interior of a stratified fluid that form in response to the restoring force of gravity. Like surface waves, internal waves can shoal and break and have important implications for mixing and distribution of nutrients in coastal systems. Using a baroclinic ocean model, we investigate the origins of internal tide motion in the Strait of Georgia waters. Upon evaluation of the model's barotropic tidal currents, we find a reasonable match with observations and other models of this region. On the other hand, there are significant discrepancies between observed and modelled baroclinic and surface currents in the vicinity of the Fraser River. We discuss the sensitivity of the model's baroclinic currents to representations of the Fraser River, and parametrizations of vertical viscosity, diffusivity, and bottom friction. Finally, we explore the fate of internal tide motions generated over the Strait of Georgia sill and their interaction with the strongly stratified surface layer.

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.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Sensitivities in modelling baroclinic currents and tides in the Strait of Georgia

2016SSEC

Different types of internal wave and tide motion occur in the strongly stratified Strait of Georgia. Internal waves are disturbances in the interior of a stratified fluid that form in response to the restoring force of gravity. Like surface waves, internal waves can shoal and break and have important implications for mixing and distribution of nutrients in coastal systems. Using a baroclinic ocean model, we investigate the origins of internal tide motion in the Strait of Georgia waters. Upon evaluation of the model's barotropic tidal currents, we find a reasonable match with observations and other models of this region. On the other hand, there are significant discrepancies between observed and modelled baroclinic and surface currents in the vicinity of the Fraser River. We discuss the sensitivity of the model's baroclinic currents to representations of the Fraser River, and parametrizations of vertical viscosity, diffusivity, and bottom friction. Finally, we explore the fate of internal tide motions generated over the Strait of Georgia sill and their interaction with the strongly stratified surface layer.