Modeling of the Water Surface Variation Driven By Local Winds at an Shallow Estuary
Monday, 15 December 2014
A three-dimensional ocean circulation model was applied to a shallow estuary, Mobile Bay, to study local wind setup and setdown. Tides started from the northern Gulf of Mexico propagates up to the Mobile River system which is located in the north of the Mobile Bay. However, the tides started in the south of Mobile Bay were distorted when travelling upstream while affected by river discharge and local winds. The water surface elevation was less/over predicted responding north/south winds, respectively, when winds only at the Dauphin Island station (DPI) were used. However, the model predicted water surface elevation better when using two local winds from DPI and Mobile Downtown Airport (MDA). Wind speeds were greatly reduced (~ 88 %) in about 43 km distance between DPI and MDA, and the canopy effects may be the reason for this. For this reason, the local winds are greatly responsible for local surface elevation setup and setdown especially at the shallow estuary like Mobile Bay.