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Hydrodynamics and Nutrient Modeling

IIHR graduate student Brice Stafne has developed a computer model that allows researchers to compare historic conditions on the Mississippi River to the river as it is today.

IIHR graduate student Brice Stafne has developed a computer model that allows researchers to compare historic conditions on the Mississippi River to the river as it is today.

Researchers at LACMRERS are linking the use of hydrodynamics (the study of fluids in motion) and nutrient modeling on the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS).

Biological communities in a large river system are mainly controlled by a complex interplay of biological, physical, and chemical processes that shape aquatic ecosystems. This growing area of research will provide various agencies, water managers, and researchers with pioneering new tools.

Managers and researchers will benefit from a better knowledge of how habitat features are distributed throughout the UMR, how interactions between landforms and flow affect that distribution, and how management actions could change critical habitat characteristics. This knowledge could be applied to a wide variety of management issues, including water level management, island placement, side channel restoration, flow modifications, reforestation, levee removal, and/or changes in discharge that may be related to climate change or abnormal weather patterns.

Changes in habitat characteristics associated with these issues could affect distribution of plant communities and wetlands, dynamics of nutrients and dissolved oxygen, mussel distribution, forest community composition, abundance of fish and benthic organisms, and more.

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Last modified on June 23rd, 2015
Posted on September 11th, 2013

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