Seasonal and interannual variability of the Columbia River plume: A perspective enabled by multiyear simulation databases

Michela Burla, Antonio Baptista, Yinglong Zhang, Sergey Frolov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As integral capability within an end-to-end observatory for the Columbia River estuary-plume-shelf system, we routinely create simulation databases of 3-D baroclinic circulation with unstructured grid models SELFE (Semi-implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element) and ELCIRC (Eulerian-Lagrangian Circulation). Here, 1999–2006 SELFE simulations are used to study plume variability at multiple temporal scales: interannual, seasonal, and event scale. Time series of plume metrics, together with climatology and anomalies of surface salinity, suggest that simulations usefully capture key features of plume dynamics. In particular, simulations capture seasonal variability around two known trends: a coastally attached northward winter plume and a detached southward summer plume. Results show significant interannual variability of the plume orientation and extent, with potential implications on the variability of productivity in the system. An empirical orthogonal function analysis confirms that a bidirectional plume is prevalent in summer, showing that the result holds true regardless of interannual variability. Short-term bidirectional plumes, previously observed or modeled only in summer, can also occasionally develop in winter as a result of episodically strong upwelling-favorable winds. Across years, the predominantly coastal attached northward plume in late fall and winter is found to separate frequently from the coast, during wind relaxation events or weak wind reversals. Multiple skill scores are used to evaluate the quality of the simulations against earlier circulation databases and data. Analysis of root-mean-square error and bias suggests overall superiority of SELFE-generated over ELCIRC-generated simulation databases, but the generality of the conclusions is limited by (1) models not being the only difference between simulation databases and (2) no model prevailing across all error metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC00B16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume115
Issue numberC2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 30 2010

Fingerprint

Columbia (Orbiter)
river plume
Columbia River
rivers
plumes
plume
Rivers
simulation
winter
summer
Orthogonal functions
Climatology
finite element analysis
Estuaries
Observatories
Mean square error
Coastal zones
Time series
time series analysis
estuaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Seasonal and interannual variability of the Columbia River plume : A perspective enabled by multiyear simulation databases. / Burla, Michela; Baptista, Antonio; Zhang, Yinglong; Frolov, Sergey.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, No. C2, C00B16, 30.01.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b947ca4bc21b4594b603089aa59363e7,
title = "Seasonal and interannual variability of the Columbia River plume: A perspective enabled by multiyear simulation databases",
abstract = "As integral capability within an end-to-end observatory for the Columbia River estuary-plume-shelf system, we routinely create simulation databases of 3-D baroclinic circulation with unstructured grid models SELFE (Semi-implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element) and ELCIRC (Eulerian-Lagrangian Circulation). Here, 1999–2006 SELFE simulations are used to study plume variability at multiple temporal scales: interannual, seasonal, and event scale. Time series of plume metrics, together with climatology and anomalies of surface salinity, suggest that simulations usefully capture key features of plume dynamics. In particular, simulations capture seasonal variability around two known trends: a coastally attached northward winter plume and a detached southward summer plume. Results show significant interannual variability of the plume orientation and extent, with potential implications on the variability of productivity in the system. An empirical orthogonal function analysis confirms that a bidirectional plume is prevalent in summer, showing that the result holds true regardless of interannual variability. Short-term bidirectional plumes, previously observed or modeled only in summer, can also occasionally develop in winter as a result of episodically strong upwelling-favorable winds. Across years, the predominantly coastal attached northward plume in late fall and winter is found to separate frequently from the coast, during wind relaxation events or weak wind reversals. Multiple skill scores are used to evaluate the quality of the simulations against earlier circulation databases and data. Analysis of root-mean-square error and bias suggests overall superiority of SELFE-generated over ELCIRC-generated simulation databases, but the generality of the conclusions is limited by (1) models not being the only difference between simulation databases and (2) no model prevailing across all error metrics.",
author = "Michela Burla and Antonio Baptista and Yinglong Zhang and Sergey Frolov",
year = "2010",
month = "1",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1029/2008JC004964",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "115",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research",
issn = "0148-0227",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "C2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Seasonal and interannual variability of the Columbia River plume

T2 - A perspective enabled by multiyear simulation databases

AU - Burla, Michela

AU - Baptista, Antonio

AU - Zhang, Yinglong

AU - Frolov, Sergey

PY - 2010/1/30

Y1 - 2010/1/30

N2 - As integral capability within an end-to-end observatory for the Columbia River estuary-plume-shelf system, we routinely create simulation databases of 3-D baroclinic circulation with unstructured grid models SELFE (Semi-implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element) and ELCIRC (Eulerian-Lagrangian Circulation). Here, 1999–2006 SELFE simulations are used to study plume variability at multiple temporal scales: interannual, seasonal, and event scale. Time series of plume metrics, together with climatology and anomalies of surface salinity, suggest that simulations usefully capture key features of plume dynamics. In particular, simulations capture seasonal variability around two known trends: a coastally attached northward winter plume and a detached southward summer plume. Results show significant interannual variability of the plume orientation and extent, with potential implications on the variability of productivity in the system. An empirical orthogonal function analysis confirms that a bidirectional plume is prevalent in summer, showing that the result holds true regardless of interannual variability. Short-term bidirectional plumes, previously observed or modeled only in summer, can also occasionally develop in winter as a result of episodically strong upwelling-favorable winds. Across years, the predominantly coastal attached northward plume in late fall and winter is found to separate frequently from the coast, during wind relaxation events or weak wind reversals. Multiple skill scores are used to evaluate the quality of the simulations against earlier circulation databases and data. Analysis of root-mean-square error and bias suggests overall superiority of SELFE-generated over ELCIRC-generated simulation databases, but the generality of the conclusions is limited by (1) models not being the only difference between simulation databases and (2) no model prevailing across all error metrics.

AB - As integral capability within an end-to-end observatory for the Columbia River estuary-plume-shelf system, we routinely create simulation databases of 3-D baroclinic circulation with unstructured grid models SELFE (Semi-implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element) and ELCIRC (Eulerian-Lagrangian Circulation). Here, 1999–2006 SELFE simulations are used to study plume variability at multiple temporal scales: interannual, seasonal, and event scale. Time series of plume metrics, together with climatology and anomalies of surface salinity, suggest that simulations usefully capture key features of plume dynamics. In particular, simulations capture seasonal variability around two known trends: a coastally attached northward winter plume and a detached southward summer plume. Results show significant interannual variability of the plume orientation and extent, with potential implications on the variability of productivity in the system. An empirical orthogonal function analysis confirms that a bidirectional plume is prevalent in summer, showing that the result holds true regardless of interannual variability. Short-term bidirectional plumes, previously observed or modeled only in summer, can also occasionally develop in winter as a result of episodically strong upwelling-favorable winds. Across years, the predominantly coastal attached northward plume in late fall and winter is found to separate frequently from the coast, during wind relaxation events or weak wind reversals. Multiple skill scores are used to evaluate the quality of the simulations against earlier circulation databases and data. Analysis of root-mean-square error and bias suggests overall superiority of SELFE-generated over ELCIRC-generated simulation databases, but the generality of the conclusions is limited by (1) models not being the only difference between simulation databases and (2) no model prevailing across all error metrics.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84962048419&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84962048419&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2008JC004964

DO - 10.1029/2008JC004964

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84962048419

VL - 115

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research

SN - 0148-0227

IS - C2

M1 - C00B16

ER -