Case Studies
Jan 28, 2023

Modeling River Plume Dynamics in a Large Wind-Forced Embayment

Publication: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Volume 149, Issue 4

Abstract

Water quality degradation, in the form of undesirable algae, occurs near the Nottawasaga River mouth and along Wasaga Beach, southeastern Georgian Bay. The ability to manage this water resource is compromised due to lack of monitoring and science. In the present study, a 3D hydrodynamic model was applied to gain an understanding of how advection and dilution of the river plume can trap nutrients along Wasaga Beach. Simulated water temperatures and currents had a root-mean-square error between 1.5°C and 2.5°C and 0.06  ms1, respectively. Maximum nearshore river concentrations occurred near the beach during high river discharge >20  m3s1 and westerly winds. Generally, the river plume was advected by winds >4  ms1, traveling along the northern shoreline during southerly winds and along the southwest shoreline during northeasterly winds. This process was analytically modeled when the wind strength indicator or Froude number (ratio of the characteristic wind-velocity scale to the buoyancy–velocity scale) was greater than one.

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Data Availability Statement

Some or all data, models, or code that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. The model setup files are available from L. B., the field data are available from Y. R. R., and the model executables are available from Hydronumerics for a nominal fee.

Acknowledgments

Field observations were provided by Alice Dove, Chris Farrow, Joe Ackerman, Dave Depew, Dave Snider, and Carley Smiley. Jun Zhao provided the model bathymetry. The research was funded by ECCC, Queen’s University, and a Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund Grant to J. D. Ackerman, LB (PI), V. Hiriart-Baer, YRR, and R. E. H. Smith. REHS is thanked for comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. The model setup files will be made available on the Queen’s University DataVerse upon acceptance for publication.

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Go to Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Volume 149Issue 4April 2023

History

Received: Feb 8, 2022
Accepted: Oct 25, 2022
Published online: Jan 28, 2023
Published in print: Apr 1, 2023
Discussion open until: Jun 28, 2023

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Dina H. Elbagoury [email protected]
Dept. of Civil Engineering, Queen’s Univ., Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6. Email: [email protected]
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Queen’s Univ., Kingston, ON, Canada K7L3N6 (corresponding author). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9492-9248. Email: [email protected]
Yerubandi Ram Rao [email protected]
Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 867 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON, Canada L7S4A1. Email: [email protected]

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