MOSAC-03-02 Three-dimensional Modeling of Cobscook Bay

Huijie Xue
School of Marine Sciences

University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Cobscook and Passamaquoddy bays support an unusually diverse and productive ecosystem. The area is rich in natural resources and is used extensively by fishermen, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, tourists, and others. The offshore water is a busy conduit for tankers moving up the Bay of Fundy to the oil terminals in St. John, New Brunswick, making this area especially vulnerable to ecological damage and the economic and social impacts of a potential oil spill. Xue will develop a 3D circulation model and explore the feasibility of predicting oil spill trajectories in the Cobscook Bay region. She will use the data collected from the companion drifter study (see Hopkins et al. above) and the data from the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) to validate her model. The model will simulate, for the first time, physical variables in Cobscook Bay responding to the combined forcing of tidal mixing and stirring, fresh water from the St. Croix River, wind, heat exchange with the atmosphere, and the larger-scale circulation that sets the offshore condition for the bay waters.

2-year project, 2003-2005
Year 1: $38, 770
Year 2: $31,230
Total: $70,000