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Observation and parameterization of bottom shear stress and sediment resuspension in a large shallow lake
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  • Shuqi Lin,
  • Leon Boegman,
  • Aidin Jabbari,
  • Reza Valipour,
  • Yingming Zhao
Shuqi Lin
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Corresponding Author:shuqi.lin@ec.gc.ca

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Leon Boegman
Queen's University
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Aidin Jabbari
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
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Reza Valipour
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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Yingming Zhao
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Lake Erie Fishery Station
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Parameterizations for bottom shear stress are required to predict sediment resuspension from field observations and within numerical models that do not resolve flow within the viscous sublayer. This study assessed three observation-based bottom shear stress (τb) parameterizations, including (1) the sum of surface wave stress and mean current (quadratic) stress (τb= τw +τc); (2) the log-law (τb= τL); and (3) the turbulent kinetic energy (τb= τTKE); using two years of observations from a large shallow lake. For this system, the parameterization τb= τw +τc was sufficient to qualitatively predict resuspension, since bottom currents and surface wave orbitals were the two major processes found to resuspend bottom sediments. However, the τL and τTKE parameterizations also captured the development of a nepheloid layer within the hypolimnion associated with high-frequency internal waves. Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation models parameterize τb as the summation of modeled current-induced bottom stress (τc,m) and modelled surface wave-induced bottom stress (τw,m). The performance of different parameterizations for τc,m and τw,m in RANS models was assessed against the observations. The optimal parameterizations yielded root-mean-square errors of 0.031 and 0.025 Pa, respectively, when τc,m, and τw,m were set using a constant canonical drag coefficient. A RANS-based τL parameterization was developed; however, the grid-averaged modelled dissipation did not always match local observations, leading to O(10) errors in prediction of bottom stress. Turbulence-based parameterizations should be further developed for application to flows with mean shear-free boundary turbulence.