The Chesapeake Bay experiences recurrent hypoxia (dissolved
oxygen <2mg/L) during the summer season. The most affected zones are within
a deep channel (depth 40m) with a relatively long residence time (240
days). Although multiple modeling studies have investigated future changes
in the Bay's hypoxia, these studies show mixed responses to sea level rise
and differences in methodology made comparisons difficult. The present study
focuses on the effect of sea level on the Bay's hypoxia in absence of other
climate drivers, using three numerical models in identical experiments. Sea
level rise both degrades and improves dissolved oxygen concentrations with
well-defined differences between regions of the Bay. The causes of these
variations are examined and their implications for water quality are discussed.
Pierre St-Laurent joined CCPO as a post-doctoral research associate in 2010 to study physical ocean-ice shelf interactions in Antarctica. Over the years, he expanded his research interests to include biogeochemical processes on Antarctic continental shelves in collaboration with field researchers and CCPO modeler, M.S. Dinniman. In addition, he works in collaboration with M.A.M. Friedrichs (VIMS) on regional issues such as atmospheric nitrogen deposition and seasonal hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay.
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