A Comparative Analysis of Estuarine Circulation Simulation Using Laterally Averaged and Vertically Averaged Hydrodynamic Models

by C. Kirk Ziegler, HydroQual, Inc, Mahwah, United States,
Jerad D. Bales, HydroQual, Inc, Mahwah, United States,
Jeanne C. Robbins, HydroQual, Inc, Mahwah, United States,
Alan F. Blumberg, HydroQual, Inc, Mahwah, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling

Abstract: Multidimensional models are routinely used to characterize hydrodynamic and transport processes in estuarine and coastal ocean systems. Due to a variety of factors, the choice between the application of a two-dimensional vertically averaged and a two-dimensional laterally averaged model must often be made. In this paper, simulation results from the independent application of a two-dimensional vertically averaged and a two-dimensional laterally averaged model of the Tar-Pamlico River, North Carolina, are compared. The models were used to simulate conditions during two periods in July 1991, which represented stratified and well-mixed conditions in the estuary. Classical two-layer estuarine flow was simulated by the laterally averaged model, even when vertical salinity gradients were not present. Results from the vertically averaged model indicate that significant cross-sectional velocity gradients can exist at times, with upstream and downstream currents occurring simultaneously at a cross-section.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Estuaries | Hydrodynamics | Simulation models | Two-dimensional models | Mathematical models | Comparative studies | Water circulation | Structural models | Model analysis | Rivers and streams | North Carolina

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