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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Modeling Nearshore Bacterial Fate and Transport in the Manitowoc River Plume in Lake Michigan

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-12630-011-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2012
End Date: Aug 31, 2017

Create and test a nearshore hydrodynamic model of Lake Michigan in the vicinity of the Manitowoc River. The nearshore model, which will extend upstream into the Manitowoc River, will be coupled to and forced by a larger lake-wide circulation model of Lake Michigan. Both models will be based on the unstructured grid model FVCOM. Identify all inputs to and outputs from the FVCOM flow and transport models in order to facilitate linkages with watershed and risk assessment microbial water quality models. Test the near-shore models for hydrodynamics and bacterial transport using available E. coli data.

Models will be developed for the Manitowoc River discharging into Lake Michigan. The three-dimensional FVCOM model will be used to describe both large-scale (that is, lake-wide) and nearshore aspects of flow and transport. The nearshore grid will extend into the upstream river segments to include the USGS gauge and other points of interest to ARS. High-resolution bathymetry and meteorological forcing datasets will be interpolated to model grids to create input files for the flow modules in FVCOM. Similarly bacterial loading from the river will be used in the form of time series data to define upstream boundary conditions for the transport models. E. coli monitoring data supplied by ARS will be used to test models. Plume dynamics and flow reversals which impact E. coli transport will be described by the models. Interface protocols and dictionaries for FVCOM and time series of microbial densities and hydrodynamics at selected locations (e.g., Read Arrow Park Beach) will be made available to be used for later analyses.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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