EPA Science Inventory

Spatially and Temporally Detailed Modeling of Water Quality in Narragansett Bay

Citation:

Charlestra, L., E. H. Dettmann, AND M. A. Abdelrhman. Spatially and Temporally Detailed Modeling of Water Quality in Narragansett Bay. Presented at New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) Spring Meeting, Salem, MA, May 01 - 03, 2014.

Description:

Nutrient loading to Narragansett Bay has led to eutrophication, resulting in hypoxia and anoxia, finfish and shellfish kills, loss of seagrass, and reductions in the recreational and economic value of the Bay. We are developing a model that simulates the effects of external nutrient and hydrologic loading on water quality in Narragansett Bay. Extensive field monitoring programs and process studies by the Narragansett Bay Commission, Federal and State agencies, municipalities, and university groups have been measuring physical parameters, nutrient concentrations and other water quality parameters in the Bay and its tributaries, nutrient inputs from wastewater treatment facilities, and process kinetic parameters. We are using data for existing nutrient concentrations, river flow and wastewater treatment facility effluent flow to estimate nutrient loading for non-sampled days using the U.S. Geological Survey’s Load Estimator (LOADEST) software. The time-variable data so generated will be used as input to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WASP\EUTRO model linked with a calibrated three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC). The primary objectives of the modeling effort are to simulate the effects of nutrient loading on dissolved oxygen concentrations and chlorophyll-a, an important parameter for water clarity and seagrass viability, to estimate the sensitivity of the Bay to changes in nutrient loading and freshwater inflow, and to explore the potential effects of management actions and other factors such as climate change on these water quality parameters in the Bay.

Purpose/Objective:

The purpose of this poster presentation is to describe a water quality model being implemented for Narragansett Bay. This model will simulate concentrations of nutrients, phytoplankton chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, and other water quality parameters as part of the ORD Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Program’s (SSWR) Project 6.1 (Narragansett Bay and Watershed Sustainability–Demonstration Project) and SSWR Project 2.3.A (Optimized Solutions for Sustainable Nutrient Management). The purpose of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed Sustainability–Demonstration Project is to develop and demonstrate an ecosystem-based management approach that will help achieve more integrated and effective management of nutrients in Southern New England. The purpose of the Optimized Solutions for Sustainable Nutrient Management Project is to develop methods to sustainably manage nutrients in estuaries of the northeastern United States.

URLs/Downloads:

ED_LC_NEERS 2014.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 11.593 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Start Date: 05/08/2014
Completion Date: 05/08/2014
Record Last Revised: 05/12/2014
Record Created: 05/08/2014
Record Released: 05/08/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 275270

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

WATERSHED DIAGNOSTICS BRANCH