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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-271
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-271
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 29 Mar 2019

Development and technical paper | 29 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Development of a Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Growth Model in a Coupled Wave-Current-Sediment-Transport Modeling System (COAWST v3.4)

Tarandeep S. Kalra1, Neil K. Ganju1, and Jeremy M. Testa2 Tarandeep S. Kalra et al.
  • 1U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 2University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, MD, 20688, USA

Abstract. The coupled biophysical interactions between submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), hydrodynamics (currents and waves), sediment dynamics, and nutrient cycling have long been of interest in estuarine environments. Recent observational studies have addressed feedbacks between SAV meadows, current velocity, sedimentation, and nutrient cycling and suggest SAV are ecosystem engineers whose growth can be self-reinforcing. To represent these dynamic processes in a numerical model, the presence of SAV and its effect on hydrodynamics (currents and waves) and sediment dynamics was incorporated into the open source model COAWST. In this study, we extend the COAWST modelling framework to account for dynamic changes of SAV and associated epiphyte biomass. Modelled SAV biomass is represented as a function of temperature, light, and nutrient availability and exchanges nutrients, detritus, dissolved inorganic carbon, and dissolved oxygen with the water-column biogeochemistry model. The dynamic simulation of SAV biomass allows the plants to both respond to and cause changes in water column and sediment bed properties, hydrodynamics, and sediment transport (i.e., a two-way feedback). We demonstrate the behavior of these modelled processes through application to an idealized domain, then apply the model to a eutrophic harbour where SAV dieback is a result of anthropogenic nitrate loading and eutrophication. These cases demonstrate an advance in the deterministic modelling of coupled bio-physical processes and will further our understanding of future ecosystem change.

Tarandeep S. Kalra et al.
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Tarandeep S. Kalra et al.
Model code and software

Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave Sediment Transport Modeling System J. C. Warner, N. Ganju, C. R. Sherwood, T. Kalra, A. Aretxabaleta, M. Olabarrieta, R. He, J. Zambon, and N. Kumar https://doi.org/10.5066/P9NQUAOW

Tarandeep S. Kalra et al.
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Latest update: 18 Jun 2019
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Short summary
The paper covers the description of a 3-D open source model that dynamically couples the biophysical interactions between submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), hydrodynamics (currents and waves), sediment dynamics, and nutrient loading. Based on SAV growth model, SAV can grow or dieback while contributing and sequestering nutrients from the water column (modifying the biological environment), and subsequently affect the hydrodynamics and sediment transport (modifying the physical environment).
The paper covers the description of a 3-D open source model that dynamically couples the...
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