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logo Modeling the Salish Sea


Overview

We are utilizing a numerical model (Regional Ocean Modeling System, ROMS v3) driven by realistic atmospheric, river, and tidal forcing to simulate the circulation in the Salish Sea (43.6°N-50.5°N, 122°W-129°W) for 2005-2006 currently, and will do many more years in the future. The Salish Sea encompasses the complex estuarine systems of Puget Sound, WA, Strait of Georgia, BC, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as the coastal waters off Vancouver Island, Washington, and Oregon. ROMS is a free-surface, primitive equation, hydrostatic ocean model that is widely used and tested in the coastal community [e.g., MacCready et al., 2009; Haidvogel et al., 2000].

sss_gridModel domain and surface salinity


Model Objectives

To produce a realistic, high-resolution hindcast simulation of the Salish Sea region for multiple years in order to address science questions that cross multiple time and space scales and that have proven difficult to ascertain with available in situ observations. To accomplish this goal, we are currently working on:

  1. creating a formal and scalable set of MATLAB code for the generation of all the files needed for each model simulation (e.g., grid with rivers carved out, forcing files),
  2. validating each simulation with a full suite of observations (e.g., sea surface height, CTD data, time series from moorings),
  3. obtaining a resolution in Puget Sound of ~200 m (up to ~2 km elsewhere) to ensure the model has the capability to address science questions that link difference scale processes, such as the interaction of the estuarine circulation in Puget Sound with the flow in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and coastal WA circulation and vice versa.

last updated October 6, 2011