Impacts of Tidal Energy Extraction on Sediment Dynamics in Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy, NS

The introduction of in-stream turbines in Minas Channel could impose changes to the oceanographic conditions on the tidal flats, at the shoreline, and in river channels in Minas Basin that might result in sediment erosion/accretion as the system adjusts to a new equilibrium. The goal of this research project is the development of numerical hydrodynamic and sediment transport models for Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy, the focus of which will be the sediment dynamics of the tidal inlets and flats. The models have been validated by field observations and used for prediction of the impacts of tidal power devices on the dynamics of coastal flows, sediment transport and seabed morphology. These models include the relevant physical processes for sediment dynamics, including tidal currents, river flows and wave-induced sediment mobilization and re-suspension. The models used for this study are the first step in addressing the problem of sedimentation in tidal rivers and on the tidal flats induced by tidal energy extraction.

Principal investigators: Peter C. Smith, Gary Bugden, and Yongsheng Wu, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries & Oceans Canada