Rookery Bay and Naples Bay Circulation Simulations: Applications to Tides and Fresh Water Inflow Regulation

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fvcom, naples bay estuary, rookery bay estuary, three-dimensional

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A three-dimensional, baroclinic numerical circulation model is applied to the combined Rookery Bay and Naples Bay estuary complex. We focus on two aspects of the model simulations: the tidal circulation, for which we have observations of sea level and currents at several stations spanning Rookery Bay, and the salinity variations, for which we have observations at one station. After establishing model veracity through quantitative comparisons with observations, we use the model to address salinity changes that could arise due to regulatory fresh water flow rate modifications. Two different sets of experiments are performed. The first considers the salinity changes in Rookery Bay by increasing the fresh water flow rates into Henderson Creek through the addition of either 1.4 m3/s or 2.8 m3/s to the ambient flow rates. The second considers the salinity changes in Naples Bay by decreasing the fresh water flow rates through the subtraction of 9.9 m3/s from the Golden Gate Canals' ambient flow rates. All of these scenarios result in significant, quantifiable salinity changes within the Rookery Bay and Naples Bay estuary complexes, demonstrating the environmental management utility of using high resolution, three-dimensional, numerical circulation models, as applied herein, for assessing the water properties of complex, multi-connected estuarine systems.

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Ecological Modelling, v. 221, issue 7, p. 986-996