A Semi-Implicit Finite Difference Model for Three-Dimensional Tidal Circulation

by Vincenzo Casulli, Universita' di Trento, Italy,
Ralph T. Cheng, Universita' di Trento, Italy,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


A semi-implicit finite difference formulation for the numerical solution of three-dimensional tidal circulation is presented. The governing equations are the three-dimensional Reynolds equations in which the pressure is assumed to be hydrostatic. A minimal degree of implicitness has been introduced in the finite difference formula so that in the absence of horizontal viscosity the resulting algorithm is unconditionally stable at a minimal computational cost. When only one vertical layer is specified this method reduces, as a particular case, to a semi-implicit scheme for the solutions of the corresponding two-dimensional shallow water equations. The resulting two- and three-dimensional algorithm is fast, accurate and mass conservative. This formulation includes the simulation of flooding and drying of tidal flats, and is fully vectorizable for an efficient implementation on modern vector computers.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Water circulation | Three-dimensional flow | Two-dimensional flow | Hydrostatics | Computing in civil engineering | Numerical models | Algorithms

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