Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Marine Systems
Concerns have grown over the increase of nutrients and pollutants discharged into the estuaries and coastal seas. The retention and export of these materials inside a system depends on the residence time (RT). A long-term simulation of time-varying RT of the Chesapeake Bay was conducted over the period from 1980 to 2012. The 33-year simulation results show that the mean RT of the entire Chesapeake Bay system ranges from 110 to 264 days, with an average value of 180 days. The RT was larger in the bottom layers than in the surface layers due to the persistent stratification and estuarine circulation. A clear seasonal cycle of RT was found, with a much smaller RT in winter than in summer, indicating materials discharged in winter would be quickly transported out of the estuary due to the winter-spring high flow. Large interannual variability of the RT was highly correlated with the variability of river discharge (R-2 = 0.92). The monthly variability of RT can be partially attributed to the variability of estuarine circulation. A strengthened estuarine circulation results in a larger bottom influx and thus reduces the RT. Wind exerts a significant impact on the RT. The upstream wind is more important in controlling the lateral pattern of RT in the mainstem. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Driven Circulation; Dissolved-Oxygen; Fresh-Water; Estuaries; Transport; Wind; Eutrophication; Exchange; Nitrogen; Marine
Du, JB and Shen, J, "Water residence time in Chesapeake Bay for 1980-2012" (2016). VIMS Articles. 787.