Physical Forcing Functions

  • James N. Kremer
  • Scott W. Nixon
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 24)


In a temperate estuary like Narragansett Bay, one of the most important forces operating on the ecological system is temperature. The major variation is seasonal, although some diel and spatial fluctuations also occur. Within the model, diel and vertical temperature differences are ignored while temperature varies among the spatial elements on a daily schedule. The observed seasonal pattern closely approximates a sinusoidal curve, and a simple equation may be formulated which matches the time of maximum or minimum temperature and the yearly amplitude. The seasonal pattern of the bay wide average of all temperature measurements during the field sampling program can be described with the equation:
$$ Temp({}^oC) = 11.5 - 8.5\;\cos [2\pi (day - 40)/365] $$


Tidal Cycle Spatial Element Tidal Circulation Longshore Drift Vertical Temperature Difference 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • James N. Kremer
    • 1
  • Scott W. Nixon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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