Model of the Long Island Sound outflow: Comparison with year-long HF radar and Doppler current observations

Jenq Chi Mau, Dong Ping Wang, David S. Ullman, Daniel L. Codiga

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A three-dimensional primitive-equation model is used to simulate the Long Island Sound (LIS) outflow for a 1-year (2001) period. The model domain includes LIS and New York Bight (NYB). Tidal and wind forcing are included, and seasonal salinity and temperature variations are assimilated. The model results are validated with the HF radar, moored acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), and ferry-based ADCP observations. The agreement between simulated and observed flow patterns generally is very good. The difference in seasonal mean currents between the model and moored ADCP is about 0.01 m/s; the correlation of dominant velocity fluctuations between the model and HF radar is 0.83; and the difference in mean LIS transport between the model and shipboard ADCP is about 5%. However, the model predicts a prominent tidally generated headland eddy not supported by the HF radar observation. The model sensitivity study indicates that the tides, winds, and ambient coastal front all have important impact on the buoyant outflow. The tides and winds cause stronger vertical mixing, which reduces the surface plume strength. The ambient coastal front, on the other hand, tends to enhance the plume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1799
Number of pages9
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2008


  • ADCP
  • Buoyant plumes
  • HF radar
  • Long Island Sound
  • Model


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