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TitleAssessment of present and future bottom shear stress in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
AuthorDufresne, C; Senneville, S; Neumeier, U; Normandeau, AORCID logo; Caveen, J; Dumont, D
SourceCoastal Sediments 2019, proceedings of the 9th International Conference; 2019 p. 1114-1126, 0097
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180241
MeetingCoastal Sediments 2019: 9th International Conference on Coastal Sediments; Tampa-St. Pete, FL; US; May 27-31, 2019
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceQuebec; Eastern offshore region; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island
NTS11M; 11N; 11O; 12B; 12C; 12D; 12E; 12F; 12G; 12I; 12J; 12K; 12L; 22G; 22H; 22I; 22J
AreaSt. Lawrence Estuary; Gulf of St. Lawrence
Lat/Long WENS -68.0000 -55.0000 52.0000 45.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; marine sediments; shear stress; estuarine sediments
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Marine Geohazards
Released2019 05 16
AbstractCurrent- and wave-induced bottom shear stress (BSS) are assessed using numerical models output to evaluate their contribution to the erosive potential of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (EGSL) system and to evaluate the impacts of the anticipated reduction of the ice cover. Near-bottom hydrodynamics features explain the distribution of surficial sediment and highly dynamic regions are classified in two categories: (i) strong current-induced BSS drive the sediment-dynamics in narrow channels and tidally-dominated areas (e.g. estuary, Strait of Belle-Isle, J. Cartier Strait); (ii) areas under the influence of waves exhibit higher variability and strongest BSS. Our results show insignificant change on the current-induced BSS and the local increase of wave-induced BSS in response to the expected reduction of the ice cover in the EGSL system. Coastal erosion potential will increase in wave-dominated zones and one may expect higher erosion risk along the New-Brunswick coast and the Magdalen Islands for future ice-reduced winters.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Climate simulations reveal hotspots of current-induced bottom shear-stress (BSS) in the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary and the Belle-Isle Strait that are also characterized by a strong temporal variability. Areas under strong wave-induced BSS are mainly located along the North Shore, along the western coast of Newfoundland, and in shallow areas of the southern Gulf such as the Magdalen shelf. End-of century values suggest a possible increase of sediment transport in shallow waters and in the coastal zone, due to the reduced sea ice cover, potentially transforming the sea bed landscape, grain-size distribution and the associated habitat for benthic species and human populations living on the coast.

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