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A nowcast model for tides and tidal currents in San Francisco Bay, California

January 1, 1998

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) installed Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) in San Francisco Bay, California to provide observations of tides, tidal currents, and meteorological conditions. PORTS data are used for optimizing vessel operations, increasing margin of safety for navigation, and guiding hazardous material spill prevention and response. Because tides and tidal currents in San Francisco Bay are extremely complex, limited real-time observations are insufficient to provide spatial resolution for variations of tides and tidal currents. To fill the information gaps, a highresolution, robust, semi-implicit, finite-difference nowcast numerical model has been implemented for San Francisco Bay. The model grid and water depths are defined on coordinates based on Mercator projection so the model outputs can be directly superimposed on navigation charts. A data assimilation algorithm has been established to derive the boundary conditions for model simulations. The nowcast model is executed every hour continuously for tides and tidal currents starting from 24 hours before the present time (now) covering a total of 48 hours simulation. Forty-eight hours of nowcast model results are available to the public at all times through the World Wide Web (WWW). Users can view and download the nowcast model results for tides and tidal current distributions in San Francisco Bay for their specific applications and for further analysis.

Publication Year 1998
Title A nowcast model for tides and tidal currents in San Francisco Bay, California
Authors Ralph T. Cheng, Richard E. Smith
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70174365
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization San Francisco Bay-Delta; Pacific Regional Director's Office