Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise on Changing Tides in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays

Andrew C. Ross, Raymond Gabriel Najjar, Jr., Ming Li, Serena Blyth Lee, Fan Zhang, Wei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Secular tidal trends are present in many tide gauge records, but their causes are often unclear. This study examines trends in tides over the last century in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Statistical models show negative M2 amplitude trends at the mouths of both bays, while some upstream locations have insignificant or positive trends. To determine whether sea level rise is responsible for these trends, we include a term for mean sea level in the statistical models and compare the results with predictions from numerical and analytical models. The observed and predicted sensitivities of M2 amplitude and phase to mean sea level are similar, although the numerical model amplitude is less sensitive to sea level. The sensitivity occurs as a result of strengthening and shifting of the amphidromic system in the Chesapeake Bay and decreasing frictional effects and increasing convergence in the Delaware Bay. After accounting for the effect of sea level, significant negative background M2 and S2 amplitude trends are present; these trends may be related to other factors such as dredging, tide gauge errors, or river discharge. Projected changes in tidal amplitudes due to sea level rise over the 21st century are substantial in some areas, but depend significantly on modeling assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8102-8125
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume122
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Fingerprint

Delaware Bay (US)
Chesapeake Bay (US)
Chesapeake Bay
Sea level
Tides
tides
sea level
tide
trends
Tide gages
gauges
statistical models
tide gauge
Numerical models
dredging
Dredging
mouth
sensitivity
Discharge (fluid mechanics)
twenty first century

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Ross, Andrew C. ; Najjar, Jr., Raymond Gabriel ; Li, Ming ; Lee, Serena Blyth ; Zhang, Fan ; Liu, Wei. / Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise on Changing Tides in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2017 ; Vol. 122, No. 10. pp. 8102-8125.
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Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise on Changing Tides in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. / Ross, Andrew C.; Najjar, Jr., Raymond Gabriel; Li, Ming; Lee, Serena Blyth; Zhang, Fan; Liu, Wei.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 122, No. 10, 01.10.2017, p. 8102-8125.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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