Hydrodynamic Study of Saipan’s Western Lagoon
The western coast of Saipan consists of a broad, shallow lagoon sheltered from the ocean by a barrier reef. Saipan’s Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Division of Coastal Resource Management (BECQ-DCRM) has contracted Sea Engineering, Inc. (SEI) to conduct a hydrodynamic study of the lagoon. The purpose of the project is to create and enhance the existing models of the hydrodynamics of the lagoon. The initial phase of the study was deployment of current meters and wave gages throughout the lagoon. Two Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) and seven Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (ADVs) were deployed to measure current and wave data for a three-month period. The instruments provide important data on the hydrodynamic conditions in the lagoon, which, in a follow-on study, will be used to calibrate a numerical hydrodynamic model of circulation and transport. The model will assist BECQ-DCRM with the development of sampling and protocols for marine and water quality monitoring in the lagoon.