Movie:Wax Lake Salinity during hurricane Ike

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Information Page: Wax Lake Salinity during hurricane Ike

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Salinity in Wax lake delta during hurricane Ike



Key Attributes

Domain: coastal
Keywords: saltwater intrusion, delta
Model name: Delft3D
Name: Fei, Xing
Where: Wax lake delta, LA
When: 28th August-18th Sept 2008


Short Description

Grade level: High (9-12), Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: Salinity intrusion in the Wax Lake delta due to hurricane Ike

Abstract: Hurricane Ike developed in early September and passed over Cuba. It did heavy damage in Cuba (it was one of the most expensive hurricanes for that country ever). Ike developed in a category 2 hurricane and made landfall near Galveston, TX on September 13th, 2008.

This animation shows results of a Delft3D simulation to study the effects of Hurricane Ike (2008) on the Wax Lake delta in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana (USA). The model domain is 25 by 30km. The movie shows salinity before, during and after this hurricane event. Water in the Wax lake delta is relatively fresh, during the entire period there was continuous river discharge being fed into the delta system. The river discharge is more important during high tides and storm events when brackish water progrades into the delta then under normal conditions. This is the pulsing of the system you can see in the beginning of the simulation. Hurricane Ike pushed saline water into the delta (the red color), at the peak of the event the entire delta was submerged and the salinity approached 20-25 ppt. Note that saline water persisted long in some of the Wax lake wetlands: even on the 18th of September, 5 days after the actual landfall there is still high salinity. This had a major effect on the wetland vegetation and would kill some of the freshwater species on the islands.

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