Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have frequently occurred in the James River. The State has convened a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to review the James River chlorophyll-a standards. The SAP will conduct a scientific study to review the basis for setting the chlorophyll-a standards. To support the SAP study of chlorophyll-a standards, the State of Virginia has decided to develop a numerical modeling system that is capable of simulating phytoplankton and HABs. The modeling system includes a watershed model, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model and water quality models. The focus of this study will be on the development and verification of the hydrodynamic model. In order to simulate the complex geometry of the James River, a high-resolution model has been implemented. The model has been calibrated for a long-term period of 23 years. A series of model experiments was conducted to evaluate the impact of forcings on dynamic simulation and transport time. It was found that freshwater discharge is the most sensitive for an accurate simulation of salinity and transport time. The water age predicted by the model in the tidal freshwater region represents the fluctuation of transport processes, and it has a good correlation with the algal bloom, while at the downstream, the transport time simulation agrees with the delay of the HAB in the mesohaline of the James after the HAB occurred in the Elizabeth River due to the transport processes. The results indicate that the hydrodynamic model is capable of simulating the dynamic processes of the James and driving water quality models in the James River.
estuarine dynamics; numerical model; transport time; James River
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Shen, Jian; Wang, Ya; and Sisson, Mac, Development of the Hydrodynamic Model for Long-Term Simulation of Water Quality Processes of the Tidal James River, Virginia (2016). Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4(4), 82.