Modeling Tidal and Wind Driven Circulation in Sarasota and Tampa Bay

by S. J. Peene, Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,
Y. P. Sheng, Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,
S. H. Houston, Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


As part of an effort to quantify the effects of hydrodynamics on water quality within Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay and their adjoining waters, a field and modeling study of circulation and transport is being conducted. This paper presents some results from a simulation of barotropic circulation in Tampa and Sarasota Bays during October 1990. Tropical Storm Marco passed just west of the study area on October 11. At that time NOAA was conducting measurements of tides and currents at a number of stations in Tampa Bay, and USGS had stations monitoring tides in Sarasota and Little Sarasota Bay. To simulate the circulation, the recently enhanced CH3D model (Sheng, 1989), which was originally developed for Chesapeake Bay, James River and Lake Okeechobee was used. To allow sufficient lateral resolution in the vicinity of shorelines and inlets, a boundary-fitted grid with a rather fine grid spacing (between 200 and 1000m) was generated for the region from Tampa Bay in the north, south to Venice inlet, and approximately 4 km into the Gulf of Mexico. For the Marco Storm simulation a wind field was generated by NOAA's Hurricane Research Center using a two-dimensional least squares fitting algorithm on surface and aircraft winds measured as the storm moved northward along the Florida coast. Based on an objective comparison between simulated and measured results, it is apparent that the model predicts the tide and wind driven water surface elevation well, while the prediction of currents is not as good due to the lack of resolution of the navigation channel in the numerical grid.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Numerical models | Federal government | Grid systems | Tides | Wind engineering | Water circulation | Bays | Tampa | Florida | United States | Italy | Europe | Gulf of Mexico

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