Presentation Abstract

Coastal sediment dynamics are crucial to understanding the transport and dispersal of contaminants in urbanized environments, predicting coastal resilience in the face of rising sea levels, and synthesizing integrated ecosystem responses. Here we present six months of observations collected by four bottom-mounted moorings in Bellingham Bay, Washington, USA, covering both quiescent summer periods and more energetic fall and winter conditions. Moorings that continuously sampled currents, waves, water quality, and turbidity tracked the dispersal and transport of sediment both from modern input via the Nooksack River basin and from legacy seabed sediment sources along the urbanized Bellingham waterfront. Discrete measurements of suspended-sediment concentrations, bed-sediment particle size, and synoptic bay-scale hydrographic conditions augment the mooring observations. Combined, these measurements characterize the forcing mechanisms relevant to fluxes of water and sediment in the context of watershed fluvial processes (e.g., flooding of the Nooksack) and Salish Sea oceanographic conditions (e.g., tidal currents and locally generated waves). Studies of this type can help unravel outstanding questions in coastal settings regarding the fate of contaminants preferentially adsorbed to fine-grained sediment and provide useful results for managers in planning future restoration efforts.

Session Title

Track: Data Analysis, Modeling & Decision Making – Posters

Conference Track

Data Analysis, Modeling & Decision Making

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_4765

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Share

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Hydrodynamics and suspended-sediment transport within an urbanized Pacific Northwest estuarine embayment

Coastal sediment dynamics are crucial to understanding the transport and dispersal of contaminants in urbanized environments, predicting coastal resilience in the face of rising sea levels, and synthesizing integrated ecosystem responses. Here we present six months of observations collected by four bottom-mounted moorings in Bellingham Bay, Washington, USA, covering both quiescent summer periods and more energetic fall and winter conditions. Moorings that continuously sampled currents, waves, water quality, and turbidity tracked the dispersal and transport of sediment both from modern input via the Nooksack River basin and from legacy seabed sediment sources along the urbanized Bellingham waterfront. Discrete measurements of suspended-sediment concentrations, bed-sediment particle size, and synoptic bay-scale hydrographic conditions augment the mooring observations. Combined, these measurements characterize the forcing mechanisms relevant to fluxes of water and sediment in the context of watershed fluvial processes (e.g., flooding of the Nooksack) and Salish Sea oceanographic conditions (e.g., tidal currents and locally generated waves). Studies of this type can help unravel outstanding questions in coastal settings regarding the fate of contaminants preferentially adsorbed to fine-grained sediment and provide useful results for managers in planning future restoration efforts.