We investigate the processes that influence residence time in a partially mixed estuary using a three-dimensional circulation model. The complex geometry of the study region is not optimal for a structured grid model and so we developed a new method of grid connectivity. This involves a novel approach that allows an unlimited number of individual grids to be combined in an efficient manner to produce a composite grid. We then implemented this new method into the numerical Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and developed a composite grid of the Hudson River estuary region to investigate the residence time of a passive tracer. Results show that the residence time is a strong function of the time of release (spring vs. neap tide), the along-channel location, and the initial vertical placement. During neap tides there is a maximum in residence time near the bottom of the estuary at the mid-salt intrusion length. During spring tides the residence time is primarily a function of along-channel location and does not exhibit a strong vertical variability. This model study of residence time illustrates the utility of the grid connectivity method for circulation and dispersion studies in regions of complex geometry.
|Title||Using a composite grid approach in a complex coastal domain to estimate estuarine residence time|
|Authors||John C. Warner, W. Rockwell Geyer, Herman G. Arango|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Computers & Geosciences|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center|