Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


As part of a large interdisciplinary study, particulate fluxes in the Waipaoa River sedimentary system in New Zealand have been studied from the terrestrial headlands of the catchment to the oceanic basin over timescales spanning storm events, seasons, and the Holocene. Here, we complement prior efforts by evaluating the formation and reworking of riverine deposits during episodic flood and wave events, and considering their role in accumulation patterns created over longer timescales on the Waipaoa shelf. Using a numerical hydrodynamic and sediment transport model, sediment fluxes and deposition were analyzed from January 2010 through February 2011.

A version of the three dimensional ROMS-CSTMS (Regional Ocean Modeling System – Community Sediment Transport Modeling System) was used to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of sediment fluxes on the Waipaoa shelf. The model could account for river input, waves, winds, larger-scale currents, tides, multiple sediment classes and a multi-layered seabed. Sediment sources to the water column included both the river plume and resuspension from the seabed. For model stability and to prevent the reflection of the river plume at the open boundary, the Waipaoa shelf model was nested within a larger-scale New Zealand ocean model. Model inputs were based on observations and model estimates, depending on availability.



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