The nature of the exchange flow between the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario has been studied to illustrate the effects of the seasonal onset of stratification on the flushing and transport of material within the bay. Flushing is an important physical process in bays used as drinking water sources because it affects phosphorous loads and water quality. A 2-d analytical model and a 3-dimensional numerical coastal model (FVCOM) were used together with in situ observations of temperature and water speed to illustrate the two-layer nature of the late summer exchange flow between the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario. Observations and model simulations were performed for spring and summer of 2018 and showed a cool wedge of bottom water in late summer extending from Lake Ontario and moving into Hay Bay at approximately 3 cm/s. Observed and modelled water speeds were used to calculate monthly averaged fluxes out of the Bay of Quinte. After the thermocline developed, Lake Ontario water backflowed into the Bay of Quinte at a rate approximately equal to the surface outflow decreasing the flushing rate. Over approximately 18.5 days of July 2018, the winds were insufficiently strong to break down the stratification, indicating that deeper waters of the bay are not well mixed. Particle tracking was used to illustrate how Hay Bay provides a habitat for algae growth within the bay.
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