Numerical Computation of Three-Dimensional Circulation in Lake Erie: A Comparison of a Free-Surface Model and a Rigid-Lid Model

Y. Peter Sheng Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 44106

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W. Lick Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 44106

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R. T. Gedney NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44135

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F. B. Molls NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44135

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Abstract

The three-dimensional time-dependent flow in the Western Basin of Lake Erie has been calculated numerically by means of both a two-mode free-surface model and a rigid-lid model. Detailed comparisons of the results from these two models are presented for two wind conditions: 1) a constant wind suddenly imposed, and 2) an actual wind which is variable in both space and time. For relatively short time intervals, significant differences between the results of the two models occur since the seiche motion is eliminated in the rigid-lid model. Long-term time-averaged circulation computed by the two models agree well in periods of strong wind, but differ appreciably in periods of light wind and active seiching.

Abstract

The three-dimensional time-dependent flow in the Western Basin of Lake Erie has been calculated numerically by means of both a two-mode free-surface model and a rigid-lid model. Detailed comparisons of the results from these two models are presented for two wind conditions: 1) a constant wind suddenly imposed, and 2) an actual wind which is variable in both space and time. For relatively short time intervals, significant differences between the results of the two models occur since the seiche motion is eliminated in the rigid-lid model. Long-term time-averaged circulation computed by the two models agree well in periods of strong wind, but differ appreciably in periods of light wind and active seiching.

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