A two-dimensional (vertical and cross-shore) sediment transport model was applied to several transects in southern Lake Michigan using observations of waves and currents recorded during the spring of 2000. Conditions during this period included several storms that are among the largest observed in the lake. The observations were used to examine the sensitivity of the model to variations in the input parameters (waves, currents, initial bottom sediment size distribution, settling velocity, and bottom stress required for erosion). The results show that changing the physical forcing (waves and currents) or the initial bottom sediment size distribution affected the results more than varying the particle properties (settling velocity and critical shear stress) or the size classes used to describe the size distribution. This indicates that for this model specification of input parameters are of first order importance and should be specified with some confidence before adding additional complexity by including processes such as flocculation and bed consolidation.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4