Long-Term Salinity Calculation in Delaware Estuary

by M. Llewellyn Thatcher, (M.ASCE), Vice. Pres.; Najarian, Thatcher & Assos., Inc., 294 Harrington Ave., Closter, N.J., 07642; and Adjunct Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Environmental Engrg., Polytechnic Instit. of New York, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
Donald R.F. Harleman, (M.ASCE), Ford Prof. of Engrg.; Ralph M. Parsons Lab, Massachusetts Instit. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass. 02139,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 11-27

Document Type: Journal Paper


A mathematical model of time-varying salinity distribution is selected and further developed for the purpose of calculating over a period of time equal to a year or more. These calculations are required to evaluate the effects of different scenarios or plans involving reservoir regulation and consumptive freshwater withdrawals. The tidal estuary portion of the Delaware River is the subject of this application. A hydrodynamic and coupled salinity model is described in terms of its governing equations. The model is one-dimensional and contains a dispersion relationship which is predictive over a broad range of tidal and freshwater inflow conditions. Treatment of boundary conditions is described with respect to the processing of large amounts of data and with respect to the definition of the salinity concentration of tributary and upstream inflows. A comparison is given between calculated and observed concentrations over a year-long period.

Subject Headings: Salinity | Estuaries | Fresh water | Tides | Inflow | Mathematical models | Reservoirs | Hydrodynamics | Delaware | United States

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