Analytical Invertigation of Aquacutlrue Farm Impacts on Esturine Dynamics

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Abstract Summary

Recent field observations in the Damariscotta River have suggested that floating oyster farms impose surface friction that results in elevated surface mixing and altered tidal flow. The resulting hydrodynamic impact, including its influence on long-term material transport is important to understand. A three-dimensional analytical model is proposed to understand the general impact of a floating oyster farm on tidal and subtidal flow in an idealized basin of similar size to the Damariscotta River. The model considers a semidiurnal tide, cross-sectional bathymetry with both depth and width decay, as well as surface friction induced by an oyster farm. Both tidal and subtidal flow patterns obtained from this analytical model compare favorably with the field observations. Results indicate that a floating aquaculture farms can reduce the surface current amplitude by about 50% near the farm. While the surface floating farm decelerates velocity near the surface, it accelerates velocity subsurface. Enhanced local advection imposed by the farm actually reverses the subtidal flow structure compared to the case with no farm. The extent to which the subtidal flow reversal influences residence times will be explored in the future. Results from this work imply that farm friction should be implemented in hydrodynamic and biogeochemical models in order to accurately determine the carrying capacity of a system.

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Engineering & Information Sciences
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