A Comparison of Bulk Estuarine Turnover Timescales to Particle Tracking Timescales Using a Model of the Yaquina Bay Estuary Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/p5547t04c

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  • The ability to determine a bulk estuarine turnover timescale that is well defined under realistic conditions is in high demand for estuarine research and management. We compare how turnover timescales vary with tidal and river forcing from idealized forcing scenarios using a three-dimensional circulation model of the Yaquina Bay estuary in order to understand the limitations and benefits of different timescale methods for future application. Using model results, we compare bulk formula approaches—the tidal prism method, freshwater fraction method, and a relatively new estuarine timescale calculation method based on the total exchange flow (TEF)—to directly calculated timescales from particle tracking in order to assess the utility of the bulk formula timescales. All of the timescales calculated had similar magnitudes during high river discharge but varied significantly at low discharge and had different dependences on tidal amplitude. Even in the application of a single estuary-averaged timescale, we did not find that any of the bulk timescales described the estuary over a realistic range of tidal and river discharge forcing. During high discharge, the Yaquina Bay timescale is on the order of 2–5 tidal cycles based on the particle tracking analysis, but during low discharge, the turnover time varies across methods and spatial considerations appear to be more important
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  • Lemagie, E. P., & Lerczak, J. A. (2015). A comparison of bulk estuarine turnover timescales to particle tracking timescales using a model of the Yaquina Bay Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts, 38(5), 1797-1814. doi:10.1007/s12237-014-9915-1
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