Presentation Title

Sensitivity of the Fraser River Plume to Winds, Tides and Freshwater Flux

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

The Fraser River plume is the brackish surface layer formed by discharge of the Fraser River into the Strait of Georgia. The dynamics of the plume, which includes its response to river discharge, tides and winds, determines surface currents in the region. We have developed a three-dimensional baroclinic model of the Salish Sea which produces daily nowcasts and forecasts for salinity, temperature, currents and sea surface height. Modelled surface flows in the plume are considerably improved with an extended and deepened river channel, reduced minimum vertical eddy viscosity and diffusivity. To better understand the dynamics of the Fraser River plume in this model, we investigate the effects of different forcings factors, such as tides, winds, river discharge and the Coriolis force, on the salinity of the plume and the surface currents by performing a series of sensitivity experiments and further comparing with observations. The impact and relative importance of each forcing on the plume will be illustrated in detail.

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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Sensitivity of the Fraser River Plume to Winds, Tides and Freshwater Flux

2016SSEC

The Fraser River plume is the brackish surface layer formed by discharge of the Fraser River into the Strait of Georgia. The dynamics of the plume, which includes its response to river discharge, tides and winds, determines surface currents in the region. We have developed a three-dimensional baroclinic model of the Salish Sea which produces daily nowcasts and forecasts for salinity, temperature, currents and sea surface height. Modelled surface flows in the plume are considerably improved with an extended and deepened river channel, reduced minimum vertical eddy viscosity and diffusivity. To better understand the dynamics of the Fraser River plume in this model, we investigate the effects of different forcings factors, such as tides, winds, river discharge and the Coriolis force, on the salinity of the plume and the surface currents by performing a series of sensitivity experiments and further comparing with observations. The impact and relative importance of each forcing on the plume will be illustrated in detail.