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Chesapeake Bay Forecast System (CBFS)
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Model Bathymetry and Grids


In order to couple ocean and estuary water data with atmospheric information, CBFS employs a specially adapted version of a program called the Rutgers Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) that has been specifically custom-configured for use on the Chesapeake Bay: ChesROMS.

This system incorporates constantly updated data on tidal activity, ocean water velocity, temperature, salinity, density and mixing, along with freshwater discharge from nine sources to depict how conditions in the bay are coupled to the ocean and to rivers and streams.

The model also includes a biogeochemical section that describes the interaction of living things with their physical environment. It focuses on transport of nitrogen compounds and mineral content in the bay's waters, status of phytoplankton (and associated chlorophyll concentrations) and zooplankton, effects of sediments in chemical transfer, oxygen content and suspended particles, among other variables. This component will be essential to assessing the risk of waterborne infectious diseases such as cholera in the bay area.

ChesROMS thus provides a complete view of the characteristics and movement of water in the bay, which can then be integrated with the other CBFS models. ChesROMS' model has been tested using historical data inputs, and has been found to accurately simulate the actual conditions from 1991 to 2005.