Freshwater Discharge into the Gulf of Alaska: Historical Conditions and Future Scenarios

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM AKDT
Dr. David Hill: Associate Professor, Oregon State University

Freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is controlled by a complex set of meteorologic and hydrologic processes. We use high resolution energy-balance models to determine the timing, spatial distribution, and composition (rain, snow-melt, ice-melt) of runoff from the entire GOA watershed. Model results demonstrate good agreement with GRACE satellite data in terms of annual amplitudes and long term losses (ice loss). We use a set of climate models and future emissions scenarios in order to test the sensitivity of the hydrologic system to changes in precipitation and temperature patterns. Initial results demonstrate large changes in runoff characteristics.


Dr. David Hill joined the Coastal and Ocean Engineering program at Oregon State in 2010 after 10 years as faculty at Penn State University. He teaches classes in wave mechanics, hydrology and hydraulics, and applied nearshore modeling. Dr. Hill was the group coordinate for Coastal and Ocean Engineering from 2010-2012.


Dr. Hill’s research portfolio includes numerous topics related to nearshore waters. Some recent examples include the linkages between tidal evolution and sea-level rise, the relationships between nearshore oceanographic conditions and biological and ecological processes, the role of coastal freshwater discharge in nearshore processes, and optical measurements of complex flow fields.


Dr. Hill's research has been supported over the years by the National Science Foundation, NOAA, the National Park Service, the North Pacific Research Board, the Oil Spill Research Institute, and the USGS.

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