Published In

Water Resources Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-7-2013

Subjects

Tides--California--San Francisco Bay, Tidal currents--Flow estimation--Mathematical models

Abstract

Reliable estimation of river discharge to the ocean from large tidal rivers is vital for water resources management and climate analyses. Due to the difficulties inherent in measuring tidal-river discharge, flow records are often limited in length and/or quality and tidal records often predate discharge records. Tidal theory indicates that tides and river discharge interact through quadratic bed friction, which diminishes and distorts the tidal wave as discharge increases. We use this phenomenon to develop a method of estimating river discharge for time periods with tidal data but no flow record. Employing sequential 32 day harmonic analyses of tidal properties, we calibrate San Francisco (SF), CA tide data to the Sacramento River delta outflow index from 1930 to 1990, and use the resulting relationship to hindcast river flow from 1858 to 1929. The M2 admittance (a ratio of the observed M2 tidal constituent to its astronomical forcing) best reproduces high flows, while low-flow periods are better represented by amplitude ratios based on higher harmonics (e.g.). Results show that the annual inflow to SF Bay is now 30% less than before 1900 and confirm that the flood of January 1862 was the largest since 1858.

Description

This is the publisher's final pdf. Reproduced here with author and publisher permission.

Originally published in Water Resources Research.

Copyright 2013 by the American Geophysical Union.

DOI

10.1002/wrcr.20363

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/10923

Share

COinS