Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-199
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-199
 
18 Jul 2022
18 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Numerical Modeling Investigation of Flushing Characteristics and Water Age in a Highly Stratified estuary: Mobile Bay, Alabama, U.S.A.

Gaurav Savant and Tate O. McAlpin Gaurav Savant and Tate O. McAlpin
  • U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Centre, Vicksburg, MS, 39180, U.S.A.

Abstract. The knowledge of timescales of flushing processes within an estuary is essential for the health, and productivity of the estuary, as well as for optimum estuarine management. The hydrodynamics, flushing times, and freshwater age within Mobile Bay were investigated using a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model, Adaptive Hydraulics. Bay flushing and freshwater times were analyzed for various freshwater flow conditions, wind conditions and investigated the influence of the Coriolis force. The flushing times were directly related to the magnitude of freshwater inputs to the system, with the bay exhibiting an average flushing time of 16.5 days for average river inflows. Freshwater age in the bay was closely associated with the freshwater inflows as well as with location in the Bay and varied from 2 days in the Upper Bay to 21 days in the Lower Bay for average river inflows. Northerly, Easterly, and Westerly winds play an enabling role in the flushing process, with lower depth-averaged flushing times compared to those without winds, with Northerly and Easterly winds being the most efficient. Southerly winds increase flushing times by changing the circulation patterns in the Bay.

Gaurav Savant and Tate O. McAlpin

Status: open (until 20 Sep 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-199', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Aug 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-199', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Aug 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-199', Anonymous Referee #3, 17 Aug 2022 reply

Gaurav Savant and Tate O. McAlpin

Gaurav Savant and Tate O. McAlpin

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Short summary
The knowledge of timescales of flushing processes within an estuary is essential for the health, and productivity of the estuary, as well as for optimum estuarine management. The flushing times were directly related to the magnitude of freshwater inputs to the system, with the bay exhibiting an average flushing time of 16.5 days for average river inflows.