Sensitivity of Flow and Salt Transport to Uncertainties at Open Boundaries: A 3-D Experience

by Bernard B. Hsieh, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Billy H. Johnson, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling

Abstract: Understanding the transport due to tidal and sub-tidal exchange processes enables many environmental issues in estuarine systems to be addressed. To achieve this goal, a reliable numerical hydrodynamic model is required as a predictive tool for addressing management alternatives. With the modern supercomputer's development, three-dimensional (3-D) time-dependent, numerical modeling of complex estuarine systems has become a rapidly maturing field of research. One of the most important aspects of such modeling concerns the boundary conditions prescribed at open boundaries. This is especially important in a 3-D multiopening system due to the importance of density and pressure gradients. In this paper, the impact of small errors in the boundary conditions at open boundaries and the strategy for modeling an extremely dynamic system, namely, the C&D Canal and the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, are presented (Figure 1). In particular, the impact of such boundary errors on the ability of the model to accurately compute flow and salt transport is demonstrated.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional flow | Water resources | Hydrologic models | Errors (statistics) | Salt water | Domain boundary | Uncertainty principles | Salts | Sediment transport | Numerical models | Tides | Estuaries | North America | Delaware | United States | Chesapeake Bay region

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