Dynamic Estuary Model Performance

by Robert B. Ambrose, Jr., Environmental Engr.; Athens Environmental Research Lab., Office of Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, Ga. 30613,
Stephen E. Roesch, Environmental Engr.; Central Regional Lab., Region III, Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Md. 21401,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 1, Pg. 51-71

Document Type: Journal Paper


Applications of the Dynamic Estuary model (DEM) to both the Delaware and Potomac Estuaries by the Environmental Protection Agency during the 1970s are summarized and evaluated. Methods for calibrating, refining, and validating this model, and statistics for evaluating its performance are discussed. Following a brief description of DEM, observed and predicted hydrodynamic, mass transport, and water quality variables are statistically analyzed for the Delaware and Potomac applicatins. Weaknesses in the model and in these applications are identified. Model performance is evaluated for its usefulness to investigations of wastewater management alternatives in tidal rivers and the upper reaches of estuaries. Results indicate that the DEM can describe real-time longitudinal tidal hydraulics with good accuracy for relatively steady flow periods and can predict longitudinal mass circulation with sufficient accuracy for well-mixed, far-field conditions. The DEM can adequately predict relative differences in water quality to be expected from incremental wastewater management alternatives, but more realistic kinetic structures are needed to predict water quality response to large changes in waste load characteristics.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Dynamic models | Discrete element method | Wastewater management | Waste management | Tides | Estuaries | Statistics | Delaware | United States

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