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Publication Abstract

Impact of Wave Forcing on Sediment Resuspension and Transport in the Mississippi Sound and Bight

Cambazoglu, K., O'Brien, S., Miles, T. N., Pan, C., Dinniman, M. S., Greer, A., Fitzpatrick, P. J., Hofmann, E., & Wiggert, J. D. (2019). Impact of Wave Forcing on Sediment Resuspension and Transport in the Mississippi Sound and Bight. 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Sediment resuspension events and subsequent transport of sediments change the sediment distribution and also affects light attenuation in the shallow waters of Mississippi Sound and shelf of Mississippi Bight. The relationship between resuspension and light attenuation is important for the ecosystem dynamics on the shelf and a reduction in light penetration due to sediment resuspension may limit primary production. The sediment transport is also important for the filter feeders such as oysters in the estuarine waters of Mississippi Sound because high sediment loads may cause negative impacts leading to mortality. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of forcing agents causing sediment resuspension in the water column. This study aims to investigate the impact of wave forcing on sediment transport with a primary focus on sediment distribution and sediment re-suspension events. The Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport (COAWST) model is used to study the dynamics in the Mississippi Bight as part of the Consortium for oil spill exposure pathways in Coastal River Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE). Field data collected during multiple cruise campaigns of CONCORDE studies indicate sediment resuspension events on Western Mississippi Bight in Spring season. Model simulations are setup for those time periods to analyze wave-driven sediment transport and also to explore the balance between wave- and current-driven sediment transport in Mississippi Sound and Bight.