Moisan, J. R., A. J. Miller, E. Di Lorenzo and J. Wilkin,
Modeling and data assimilation.
Sensing in Coastal Aquatic Environments, R. L. Miller, C. E. Del Castillo,
and B. A. McKee, Eds., Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, in press.
Coastal areas are by far the most complex and dynamic of all ocean
regions. They are important zones for the accumulation and transformation
of nutrients and sediments derived from terrestrial and atmospheric sources.
These areas are also crucial fish nursery and foraging grounds
and are home to the majority of ocean fish stocks that compose our
fisheries Approximately 90% of the total marine fish catch is derived
from continental shelf regions, an area comprising less than 8%
of the total ocean area. The proximity of the coastal ocean to
terrestrial and fluvial influences complicates the underlying coastal
ocean dynamics often associated with coastal regions,
such as tides, coastal trapped waves, shoaling internal
waves, upwelling, etc. Mankind has heavily influenced coastal
regions by modifying freshwater influx patterns, altering nutrient
and sediment fluxes from both fluvial and atmospheric sources, and
overexploiting fisheries resources. One goal in understanding the dynamics
of coastal regions is to use this knowledge to improve coastal
management practices so as to reduce the impact of anthropogenic
influences. However, gaining an understanding of the mechanisms
important to answering a host of questions related to
coastal ocean regions requires the coordinated use of
a wide variety of data sets, of both satellite and
in situ origin, and numerical models.