Computation of Tidal Flow in Well-Mixed Estuaries

by Carl E. Pearson, Prof. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,
Donald F. Winter, Prof. of Oceanography; Univ. of Washington, Seattle, Wash.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 367-377

Document Type: Journal Paper


A new efficient procedure is developed for computing periodic flow in well-mixed estuaries of arbitrary geometry. A harmonic analysis is performed in which accurate representations of the nonlinear terms in the equations of motion are developed by successive approximation. At each iteration, the modal coefficients satisfy a system of first-order equations and boundary conditions which are combined in such a way as to promote algorithmic efficiency. The method is illustrated by applications to a model river estuary and to a deep inlet with a sill. Accuracy is demonstrated for the former case (where nonlinear effects are strong) by close agreement with results obtained from a time-stepping method. The method appears to be very efficient, and computation time may be less than 10% of that required by conventional time-stepping procedures. Analysis of multiple branches and networks of estuaries is also considered.

Subject Headings: Tides | Estuaries | Computing in civil engineering | Nonlinear analysis | Equations of motion | Arbitration | Geometrics | Approximation methods

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