CSDMS 2015 annual meeting poster BlakeClark

Presentation provided during CSDMS annual meeting 2015

Three-dimensional modeling of a Chesapeake Bay tidal marsh ecosystem

Blake Clark, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States. bclark@umces.edu
Raleigh Hood, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States.
Wen Long, PNNL, Washington, United States.

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Biogeochemical processes on the fringes of estuaries are relatively unconstrained in coastal carbon budgets and, in particular, those associated with estuary-marsh exchanges. A three-dimensional biogeochemical simulation can be a valuable tool to augment the sparse observations on these exchanges and can provide insights into the carbon fluxes associated with them. The Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) coupled with the Integrated Compartment Model (ICM) for water quality is being adapted to simulate the physical and biological characteristics of the Rhode River, MD, a sub-estuary of Chesapeake Bay. Concurrent measurements of biogeochemical parameters and ongoing long-term observations are being used to inform the modeling effort. The model includes a module to simulate the drag imposed by marsh grasses that, along with the unstructured grid and the FVCOM wetting and drying treatment, provides a realistic representation of intertidal marsh hydrodynamics. Model output and observed data are compared for hydrodynamic model validation and small-scale circulation features are examined. A chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) module is being developed for inclusion into the water quality model. The DOM module explicitly defines CDOM independent of non-chromophoric DOM (NCDOM) allowing a dynamic simulation involving UV/visible light and microbial interactions in the water column and diagenesis of DOM in the sediments. The continued development of the Rhode River model will provide insights into carbon exchange across the marsh-estuary interface.

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