Andrew Grace | Applied Math, University of Waterloo
Numerical simulations of under-ice plume dynamics in the western and central basins of Lake Erie
In this talk, I will provide an overview of a proposed three phase project. The overarching goal of the main project will be to build a high resolution model of the western and central basins of Lake Erie over the winter in order to characterize the inter-basin fluxes of material originating from the Detroit and Maumee rivers. Together, the Detroit and Maumee rivers provide as much as 88% of the nutrient loading into the western basin, but the Detroit River is responsible for 94% of the inflow water. Thus, the Detroit river represents a dynamically interesting environment to perform idealized process studies of the dispersion of plume water beneath ice. The project will begin with phase one, which mainly focuses on model understanding and identification of the limitations of simple mixing parameterizations. Following this, phase two will begin, where the main goal will be to produce and study a model of an under-ice plume. The model will be based off the results of Kasper et. al. (2015) who investigated the sensitivity of plume dynamics to variable ice cover. The bulk of phase two will be dedicated to addressing the impact of the mixing parameterization and external forcing on the dynamics. Following the completion of phase two, phase three will begin. Using the results from phase two as a benchmark, a high resolution model of the western and central basins of Lake Erie will be built and process studies of material dispersion and plume water dispersion will be undertaken. Finally, inter-basin fluxes of the material will be characterized.