Cape Fear River Estuary Modeling System

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Title: Cape Fear River Estuary Modeling System
Author: Xia, Meng
Advisors: Leonard J. Pietrafesa, Committee Member
Lian Xie, Committee Chair
Daniel L. Kamykowski, Committee Member
John M. Morrison, Committee Member
Abstract: The Cape Fear River Estuary (CFRE) region is one of the coastal regions facing frequent threats from tropical cyclones. It is also an important nursery for juvenile fish, crabs, shrimp, and other biological species. Thus, predicting the physical responses of the CFRE system to extreme weather events is important to the protection of life and property and ensuring the economical well beings of local residents. In this study, the Princeton Ocean Model (POM) is used to simulate the storm surge circulation in the CFRE and adjacent Long Bay and Onslow Bay. The Environmental Fluid Dynamic Code (EFDC), an estuarine and coastal ocean circulation model, is also used to simulate the salinity plume and tracer plume distribution and particle trajectory in the vicinity of the mouth of the Cape Fear River Estuary (CFRE). The effects of astronomical tide, river discharge and wind on the CFRE salinity plume and tracer plume, particle trajectory were investigated. The comparison among the plume structure, particle trajectory, and the passive tracer structure is discussed. To better simulate the plume structure in Cape Fear River Estuary (CFRE), we also test the sensitivity of the EFDC model to the choice of grid resolution, advection scheme, and external forcing.
Date: 2008-02-28
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

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