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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(3), 62; doi:10.3390/jmse4030062

Influence of Wind Strength and Duration on Relative Hypoxia Reductions by Opposite Wind Directions in an Estuary with an Asymmetric Channel

1
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Chesapeake Bay Office, 410 Severn Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403, USA
2
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, P.O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA
3
USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office, 410 Severn Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403, USA
4
Chesapeake Research Consortium, 645 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, MD 21037, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard P. Signell
Received: 8 July 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
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Abstract

Computer model experiments are applied to analyze hypoxia reductions for opposing wind directions under various speeds and durations in the north–south oriented, two-layer-circulated Chesapeake estuary. Wind’s role in destratification is the main mechanism in short-term reduction of hypoxia. Hypoxia can also be reduced by wind-enhanced estuarine circulation associated with winds that have down-estuary straining components that promote bottom-returned oxygen-rich seawater intrusion. The up-bay-ward along-channel component of straining by the southerly or easterly wind induces greater destratification than the down-bay-ward straining by the opposite wind direction, i.e., northerly or westerly winds. While under the modulation of the west-skewed asymmetric cross-channel bathymetry in the Bay’s hypoxic zone, the westward cross-channel straining by easterly or northerly winds causes greater destratification than its opposite wind direction. The wind-induced cross-channel circulation can be completed much more rapidly than the wind-induced along-channel circulation, and the former is usually more effective than the latter in destratification and hypoxia reduction in an early wind period. The relative importance of cross-channel versus along-channel circulation for a particular wind direction can change with wind speed and duration. The existence of month-long prevailing unidirectional winds in the Chesapeake is explored, and the relative hypoxia reductions among different prevailing directions are analyzed. Scenarios of wind with intermittent calm or reversing directions on an hourly scale are also simulated and compared. View Full-Text
Keywords: summer hypoxia/anoxia; wind speeds and directions; prolonged unidirectional wind summer hypoxia/anoxia; wind speeds and directions; prolonged unidirectional wind
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, P.; Wang, H.; Linker, L.; Hinson, K. Influence of Wind Strength and Duration on Relative Hypoxia Reductions by Opposite Wind Directions in an Estuary with an Asymmetric Channel. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 62.

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