Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Stephan D. Howden

Committee Chair School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Member 2

Dr. Arne R. Diercks

Committee Member 2 School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Member 3

Dr. Mustafa Kemal Cambazoglu

Committee Member 3 School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

The Mississippi Sound is a shallow lagoon-type water estuarine system that is a major part of Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) separated from the shelf waters by a series of barrier islands. It is mostly characterized by its strong weather fronts, storms and hurricanes that affect the hydro-morpho-dynamics of the region. This includes strong impact on the current circulation, flow pattern, sedimentation etc. Understanding the physical oceanography of the Sound through observing the climatologies of the ocean parameters, discovering the trends and relationships and knowing the circulation pattern is extensively important since the Sound is an indisputable ecological resource to the NGOM. In this study the climatological analyses of the oceanic variables have been performed and relationships among them have been obtained. Additionally, comparison of the surface current components measured from High Frequency Radar and simulated by ocean models has been accomplished to better understand the surface circulation of the Sound, guide through the improvement of the models and get insights about the accuracy in radar performance.

The climatological analyses provide trends and relationships among surface current, surface temperature, surface salinity, precipitation and wind. The surface currents are mostly wind driven. The impact of average wind is not visible on the surface currents averaged over longer period, but it is significant on the unaveraged filtered data. The wind also impacts the surface salinity of the Sound. Again, salinity, along with bathymetry have an influence on the correlation between the surface current components obtained from models and in-situ data.

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