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The Shallow-Water Component of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Model Package

Published: October 01, 2013

The shallow-water component of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Model Package emphasizes the regions of the system inside the 2-m depth contour. The model of these regions is unified with the systemwide model but places emphasis on locally significant components and processes, notably submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), sediment resuspension, and their interaction with light attenuation (Ke). The SAV model is found to be most suited for computing the equilibrium distribution of perennial species. Addition of plant structure and propagation are recommended to improve representation of observed trends in SAV area. Two approaches are taken to examining shallow-water Ke. The first compares observed and computed differences between deep- and shallow-water Ke. No consistent difference in observations is noted. In the preponderance of regions examined, computed shallow-water Ke exceeds computed deep-water Ke. The second approach directly compares Ke measured in shallow water with modeled results. Model values are primarily lower than observed, in contrast to results in deep water where model values exceed observed. The shortfall in computed Ke mirrors a similar shortfall in computed suspended solids. Improved model representation of Ke requires process-based investigations into suspended solids dynamics as well as increased model resolution in shallow-water regions.

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