Frick, W.E., A.C. Sigleo, and D.T. Specht. 2004 Estimating nitrogen and tidal exchange in a North Pacific estuary with EPA's Visual Plumes PDSW model. 12 pages in Proceedings 3rd International Conf. on Marine Waste Water Discharge, Catania, Italy September-October, 2004. WED-05-027
Accurate assessments of nutrient levels in coastal waters are required to determine the nutrient effects of increasing population pressure on coastal ecosystems. To accomplish this goal, infield data with sufficient temporal resolution are required to define nutrient sources and sinks, and to ultimately calculate nutrient budgets. Very high temporal resolution data, however, can capture transient events and document unexpected short-term temporal processes. The interpretation of these high density data sets, however, may require complex models. The application of the U.S. EPA Visual Plumes PDSW model output suggests estuarine plumes carry estuarine effluent well offshore, playing an important role in the exchange of estuarine and coastal water. In contrast, evidence is found that internal tides, if present, play a lesser, effectively supporting, role in explaining the variation in water properties near estuaries.