Marine Ecosystem Dynamics Modeling Laboratory

Flooding / Drying process

FVCOM has successfully simulated the 3-D flooding/drying processes over estuarine-tidal creek-intertidal salt marsh complex. During the flood tidal period, the water flows into tidal creeks and flood over barriers and salt marsh area. Most parts of the marsh are covered by the water at the high water level. This process reverses during the ebb tidal period, during which the water drains back to the main channel, and then restricted inside the channel and tidal creek at the low water level (Fig. 2). At the spring tidal cycle, the water could cover the entire area bounded by the 2-m elevation lines. Adding wind forcing has little influence on the flooding/drying processes inside the river, but it does show a significant impact on the circulation near the mouth of the river and over the inner shelf region (Fig. 3).

Fig. 1: Tidal animation for the case with M2 tidal forcing only. The light gray color is the water and white vector is the near-surface tidal current vectors.

Click figure to view the full-size animation.

High Tide

Low Tide

Fig.2 Distributions of water elevation and near-surface current at the high tide (left) and low tide(right) for the case with the only tidal forcing. Tidal forcing includes 5 Tidal constituents: M2, S2, N2, K1 and O1. Click the image bellow for the animation

High Tide

Low Tide

Fig.3 Distributions of water elevation and near-surface current at the high tide (left) and low tide(right) for the case with tidal and wind forcings. Tidal forcing includes 5 tidal constituents: M2, S2, N2, K1 and O1. Click the image bellow for the animation

Posted on January 16, 2014