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Open Access Publications from the University of California


SFEWS provides credible scientific information on California's complex water issues, linking new science to policy with great effect. SFEWS retains a regional focus on the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, also known as the Bay–Delta watershed. At the heart of open access from the California Digital Library, SFEWS's scholarly output ranks #1 for the UC Davis Institute  of the Environment and ranks #3 campus wide.

Volume 4, Issue 3, 2006

Research Article

Flow Convergence Caused by a Salinity Minimum in a Tidal Channel

Residence times of dissolved substances and sedimentation rates in tidal channels are affected by residual (tidally averaged) circulation patterns. One influence on these circulation patterns is the longitudinal density gradient. In most estuaries the longitudinal density gradient typically maintains a constant direction. However, a junction of tidal channels can create a local reversal (change in sign) of the density gradient. This can occur due to a difference in the phase of tidal currents in each channel. In San Francisco Bay, the phasing of the currents at the junction of Mare Island Strait and Carquinez Strait produces a local salinity minimum in Mare Island Strait. At the location of a local salinity minimum the longitudinal density gradient reverses direction. This paper presents four numerical models that were used to investigate the circulation caused by the salinity minimum: (1) A simple one-dimensional (1D) finite difference model demonstrates that a local salinity minimum is advected into Mare Island Strait from the junction with Carquinez Strait during flood tide. (2) A three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamic finite element model is used to compute the tidally averaged circulation in a channel that contains a salinity minimum (a change in the sign of the longitudinal density gradient) and compares that to a channel that contains a longitudinal density gradient in a constant direction. The tidally averaged circulation produced by the salinity minimum is characterized by converging flow at the bed and diverging flow at the surface, whereas the circulation produced by the constant direction gradient is characterized by converging flow at the bed and downstream surface currents. These velocity fields are used to drive both a particle tracking and a sediment transport model. (3) A particle tracking model demonstrates a 30 percent increase in the residence time of neutrally buoyant particles transported through the salinity minimum, as compared to transport through a constant direction density gradient. (4) A sediment transport model demonstrates increased deposition at the near-bed null point of the salinity minimum, as compared to the constant direction gradient null point. These results are corroborated by historically noted large sedimentation rates and a local maximum of selenium accumulation in clams at the null point in Mare Island Strait.

Research Monograph

Central Valley Salmon: A Perspective on Chinook and Steelhead in the Central Valley of California

This monograph presents an extensive review of the biology and management of Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Central Valley of California. Relevant data and publications on these populations are summarized and discussed in the context of the wider professional literature, with emphasis on the importance of evolutionary considerations in the assessment of populations and in their management, the need to manage populations together with their environments, and the contradiction between maintaining a major hatchery program to support a mixed-stock ocean fishery and trying to maintain or restore populations adapted to natural or semi-natural habitats. Recommendations are presented for management and monitoring—for example for a thorough review of hatchery operations, for more emphasis on monitoring individual-based factors such the physiological condition and growth rates of juveniles, and for simulation of major restoration actions and monitoring programs. The 17 chapters cover major conceptsin salmon biology and conceptual foundations for management, and Central Valley Chinook and steelhead populations and their habitat, growth and migration, habitat use, harvest, hatcheries, modeling, monitoring, and management.

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