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Modeling Great Lakes Coastal Transport and Flux

9712883 Niebauer Research will be undertaken in response to an Announcement of Opportunity (NSF 97-38) for Coastal Studies in the Great Lakes. The research is being conducted under the auspices of the NSF Coastal Ocean Processes (CoOP) program and the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program. This collaborative, interdisciplinary research program will entail an integrated program of field and laboratory studies and mathematical modeling to quantify the role of coastal currents and thermal fronts in mediating cross-margin transport in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The objective of this project is to numerically model and understand the basic oceanographic processes that affect and drive cross-margin and vertical transport in the Great Lakes. This modeling study will consider physical, biological, and chemical interactions with emphasis on episodic and seasonal weather (wind and heat) forcing of vertical and horizontal lake circulation, and effects on events such as primary production. The ultimate goal is to gain understanding to the point of being able to predict transport of momentum and mass, including natural and anthropogenic material. The transport of natural and anthropogenic material includes primary production in nutrient- phytoplankton-zooplankton loops with emphasis on aggregation of particles (both natural and anthropogenic) and associated vertical flux and fate. This modeling research will be applied to two contrasting Great Lakes coastal margins for comparison and contrast: Lake Superior as an example of an oligotrophic Lake that is seasonally impacted by ice cover, and Lake Michigan as an example of a coastal region that is more impacted by anthropogenic input. While this research is aimed at the Great Lakes coastal zone, it is directly applicable to the coastal ocean. The work requires a multidisciplinary, collaborative research approach and cooperative interaction to fit the various biological, physical, chemical and met eorological model components together and to gather, apply and interpret data for initial and boundary conditions as well as to verify the resulting model results. This will be accomplished through interaction with investigators and laboratories around the Great Lakes. The research will lead to a better quantitative understanding of the processes that dominate the transport, transformations, and fates of biologically, chemically, and geologically important matter across the margins of the Great Lakes.

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