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Numerical Models of Water Motion in the Great Lakes

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Monday, October 4, 2010, 4 pm

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Dave Schwab
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Hydrodynamic processes in the Great Lakes directly affect the chemical, biological and ecological dynamics of the system. Horizontal and vertical transport and mixing influence the distribution of nutrients, contaminants, sediments, and biota. Hydrodynamic models can be categorized either as models dealing mainly with water level fluctuations or models of lake circulation and thermal structure. Models of water level fluctuations include storm surge models, models of seiches and normal modes, tidal models, wind wave models, and hydrologic models. The main types of lake circulation and thermal structure models are those dealing only with horizontal motions, and those that incorporate both horizontal motion, vertical motion, and thermal structure, physical (scale) models, particle transport models, and advection-diffusion models. This talk will describe some examples of these models that have made a significant impact on our understanding of physical processes in lakes.


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