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iDEA: Drexel E-repository and Archives > Drexel Academic Community > College of Engineering > Department of Civil, Architectural,and Environmental Engineering > Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on HydroScience and Engineering (ICHE 2006) [ISBN: 0977447405] > Preliminary hydrodynamic modeling of tidal circulation in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1423

Title: Preliminary hydrodynamic modeling of tidal circulation in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Authors: Cheng, Ralph T.
Taggart, S. James
Nielsen, Julie K.
Keywords: Tidal currents;Coastal modeling;Coastal hydrodynamics
Issue Date: 12-Sep-2006
Publisher: Michael Piasecki and College of Engineering, Drexel University
Citation: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Hydroscience and Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, September 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/1860/732
Abstract: Glacier Bay is a recently (230 years ago) deglaciated fjord located within Glacier Bay National Park in southeastern Alaska. Glacier Bay is about 100 km long along the main axis, and it has several side arms and multiple sills, which are backed by very deep basins (200-400 m) with tidewater glaciers. Glacier Bay experiences a large amount of “runoff” from melting glaciers, high sedimentation, and large tidal ranges. The freshwater inflows from melting glaciers support estuarine circulation, possibly all year-round during recent warm winters. The complex topography and strong tidal currents lead to highly variable salinity, temperature, and current patterns within a small area. To characterize the hydrodynamics of this complex system, a 3D numerical hydrodynamic model (UnTRIM) using an unstructured grid has been implemented to simulate tidal circulation and salinity distribution in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The unstructured grid used by the model allows an accurate representation of the complex basin topography. Only very limited time-series records of water levels and current measurements had been taken. Some profiling ADCP and CTD cruises provided data for qualitative comparison with results of the numerical model. An open boundary exists at the southern end of the model near Gustavus where water levels (tides) and salinity values are specified. At tidewater glaciers, freshwater releases are assumed representing melting glaciers. Preliminary model simulations show complex spatial variations of tidal current pattern and salinity distributions are also computed. The model results are qualitative and preliminary, but they shed light on the overall hydrodynamic characteristics of Glacier Bay. These results are the basis for future interactive interdisciplinary research linking hydrodynamic processes to the distribution and abundance of marine animals in Glacier Bay National Park.
Description: Paper presented at The Seventh International Conference on HydroScience and Engineering (ICHE) hosted by the College of Engineering at Drexel Univeristy on September 10-13, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference theme was IT in the Field of HydroSciences. It included several mini-symposia that emphasized IT topics in HydroSciences and the yearly meeting of the metadata group of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange organization.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1423
ISBN: 0977447405
Appears in Collections:Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on HydroScience and Engineering (ICHE 2006) [ISBN: 0977447405]

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