2022 CSDMS meeting-074
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Delta progradation and lake infilling in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Canada
Julianne Davis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina, United States. email@example.com
The Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD) in Alberta, Canada, is one of the largest inland deltas in the world. The hundreds of shallow lakes and distributary channel networks contribute to the incredible biodiversity in this region and also form the primary transportation routes for summer boat travel and ice roads in winter. Over the last few decades, however, there has been rising concern over declining lake levels. While the complex and changing hydrology is the focus of many studies, little is known about how changing geomorphology will impact lake water storage. In this work, I will focus on one shallow PAD lake, Mamawi Lake, which is located near the center of the PAD and forms a key hydrologic connection. A subdelta has been forming in Mamawi Lake since 1982 and, as it continues to grow, may compromise hydrologic connectivity and navigability. To investigate past and future subdelta progradation, I will use Delft3D-FLOW as well as field measurements and satellite remote sensing. To develop a model that acceptably mimics subdelta growth, I will compare observed progradation rates and delta form, as determined from the optical satellite record, with predicted delta growth and planform from Delft3D simulations. By iteratively comparing observed and predicted subdelta characteristics, I can optimize model inputs to create a model that best resembles the historical growth of the Mamawi Lake subdelta. Then, with this optimized model, I will run longer simulations (on the order of 100 years) to estimate potential timelines of lake infilling and loss of navigability.