Study of the Circulatory and Salinity Changes in Galveston Bay, Texas by Using a Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic and Transport Model

by Keh-Han Wang, Univ of Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


The effects of tides and freshwater inflows on the circulation and salinity changes in Galveston Bay are investigated numerically by using three-dimensional hydrodynamic and transport model. This model solves coupled full Navier-Stokes equations and salinity transport equation in a curvilinear coordinate system. By inputting freshwater inflows and tides into the model, the time variations of the circulation pattern, free-surface elevation and salinity profile are obtained to describe this estuary. A monthly simulation has been conducted to study the tide and freshwater induced circulation. The free-surface elevations and salinity distributions are also presented. The predicted free-surface elevations are in good agreement with the field measurements. Several recirculating zones are identified in the bay area. The results also indicate that the freshwater inflow plays an important role to lower overall salinity distributions in the bay.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Fresh water | Tides | Inflow | Free surfaces | Water circulation | Salinity | Bays | Texas | United States

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