An assessment of the transport of southern California stormwater ocean discharges

TitleAn assessment of the transport of southern California stormwater ocean discharges
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRogowski P.A, Terrill E, Schiff K., Kim S.Y
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Date Published2015/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0025-326X
Accession NumberWOS:000348964000030
KeywordsAreas of Special; bight; Biological Significance; Coastal discharge; currents; Fecal indicator bacteria; field; huntington-beach; inactivation; mass emissions; pollution; santa-monica bay; southern california; Stormwater plumes; urban runoff; Water quality; water-quality

The dominant source of coastal pollution adversely affecting the regional coastal water quality is the seasonally variable urban runoff discharged via southern California's rivers. Here, we use a surface transport model of coastal circulation driven by current maps from high frequency radar to compute two-year hindcasts to assess the temporal and spatial statistics of 20 southern California stormwater discharges. These models provide a quantitative, statistical measure of the spatial extent of the discharge plumes in the coastal receiving waters, defined here as a discharge's "exposure". We use these exposure maps from this synthesis effort to (1) assess the probability of stormwater connectivity to nearby Marine Protected Areas, and (2) develop a methodology to estimate the mass transport of stormwater discharges. The results of the spatial and temporal analysis are found to be relevant to the hindcast assessment of coastal discharges and for use in forecasting transport of southern California discharges. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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