UMD Swenson Col of Sci & Eng
UM Duluth
Project Title: 
Modeling of Lacustrine Circulation and Thermal Structure

These researchers are using MSI for two projects.

  • The first project deals with examining sensitivity of lake thermal structure and ice formation to small changes in meteorological forcing, and understanding the seasonality of the sensitivity. Recent observational work has shown that ice formation on Lake Superior is surprisingly sensitive to small changes in winter-averaged air temperature. The goal of this project is to develop a better mechanistic understanding of this extreme sensitivity.
  • The second project involves development of a modeling framework for the St Louis Estuary/Duluth Harbor/Lake Superior coupled system, and development of a hydrodynamic modeling platform within which to study circulation, thermal structure, and the interaction of these distinct water bodies. This work takes on two primary forms: first, a nowcasting system which will acquire real-time meteorological data and provide real-time predictions of current conditions; second, a scenario-based modeling environment within which researchers in the St. Louis Estuary/Lake Superior community can test hypotheses as they pertain to physical characteristics of the system. This project has expanded since 2016 due to new funding and two new collaborations, one in Duluth to examine flushing mechanisms for small side-bays in the St. Louis Estuary, and one with a University of Minnesota Twin Cities researcher to characterize the fate of wastewater effluent.
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