Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2016

Journal

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

Volume

4

Issue

3

First Page

62

Abstract

Computer model experiments are applied to analyze hypoxia reductions for opposing wind directions under various speeds and durations in the north–south oriented, two-layer-circulated Chesapeake estuary. Wind’s role in destratification is the main mechanism in short-term reduction of hypoxia. Hypoxia can also be reduced by wind-enhanced estuarine circulation associated with winds that have down-estuary straining components that promote bottom-returned oxygen-rich seawater intrusion. The up-bay-ward along-channel component of straining by the southerly or easterly wind induces greater destratification than the down-bay-ward straining by the opposite wind direction, i.e., northerly or westerly winds. While under the modulation of the west-skewed asymmetric cross-channel bathymetry in the Bay’s hypoxic zone, the westward cross-channel straining by easterly or northerly winds causes greater destratification than its opposite wind direction. The wind-induced cross-channel circulation can be completed much more rapidly than the wind-induced along-channel circulation, and the former is usually more effective than the latter in destratification and hypoxia reduction in an early wind period. The relative importance of cross-channel versus along-channel circulation for a particular wind direction can change with wind speed and duration. The existence of month-long prevailing unidirectional winds in the Chesapeake is explored, and the relative hypoxia reductions among different prevailing directions are analyzed. Scenarios of wind with intermittent calm or reversing directions on an hourly scale are also simulated and compared.

DOI

10.3390/jmse4030062

Keywords

summer hypoxia/anoxia; wind speeds and directions; prolonged unidirectional wind

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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