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Evaluation of a Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model Applied to Chesapeake Bay Through Long-Term Simulation of Transport Processes

Published: October 01, 2013

A numerical model, the Curvilinear Hydrodynamics in 3-Dimensions, Waterway Experiment Station version (CH3D-WES), was applied to represent transport processes of the Chesapeake Bay. Grid resolution and spatial coverage, tied with realistic bathymetry, ensured dynamic responses along the channel and near the shoreline. The model was run with the forcing ranges from high frequency astronomical tides to lower frequency meteorological forcing, given by surface wind and heat flux, as well as hydrological forcing given by fresh water inflows both from upstream and distributed sources along the shoreline. To validate the model, a long-term simulation over seven-year time period between 1994 and 2000 was performed. The model results were compared with existing observation data including water level time series, which spans over a wide spectrum of time scales, and long-term variations in salinity structures over varying parts of the Bay. The validated model is set to provide an appropriate transport mechanism to the water quality model through linkage, warranting that the model takes into account the complexity in time and spatial scales associated with the dynamic processes in the Chesapeake.

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