Climate change impacts on wave and surge processes in a Pacific Northwest (USA) estuary Public Deposited

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  • Total water levels (TWLs) within estuaries are influenced by tides, wind, offshore waves, and streamflow, all of which are uniquely affected by climate change. The magnitude of TWL associated with various return periods is relevant to understanding how the hydrodynamics of a bay or estuary may evolve under distinct climate scenarios. A methodology for assessing the hydrodynamic response of a small estuary under major boundary condition perturbations is presented in this study. The coupled Advanced Circulation (ADCIRC) and Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model was used to simulate wave and water elevation conditions within Tillamook Bay, OR, USA for two long-term scenarios; 1979–1998 and 2041–2060. The model output provided multidecadal time series of TWLs for statistical analysis. Regional climate data from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) were used to drive streamflow modeling (MicroMet/SnowModel/ HydroFlow) and meteorological forcing within ADCIRC-SWAN. WAVEWATCH III, which was forced with global climate data from the Community Climate Science Model (CCSM, a contributing model to NARCCAP), was used to produce open boundary wave forcing. Latitudinal and seasonal gradients were found in TWLs associated with varying return periods for both the hindcast and forecast. Changes in TWLs from hindcast to forecast included the sea level rise component and were also modulated by changes in boundary conditions.
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  • Cheng, T. K., Hill, D. F., Beamer, J., & García‐Medina, G. (2015). Climate change impacts on wave and surge processes in a Pacific Northwest (USA) estuary. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120(1), 182-200. doi:10.1002/2014JC010268
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