Importance of Density Gradient Terms in Estuaries

by Donald C. Raney, Univ of Alabama, United States,
Kang-Ren Jin, Univ of Alabama, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


In estuaries classified as well-mixed or unstratified, two-dimensional depth averaged models have often been applied with the density considered as constant. Calculations, based on measured prototype data in Apalachicola Bay, Florida, indicate that horizontal density gradients have a significant effect on the salinity distribution in certain portions of even a well-mixed estuary. The horizontal density gradient terms, have been added to a two-dimensional depth averaged numerical model. The model is applied to Apalachicola Bay, Florida both with and without the horizontal density gradient terms and a comparison of results presented.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Estuaries | Hydrodynamics | Salinity | Florida | United States | North America

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