Hydrodynamic Simulation of the Upper Potomac Estuary

by Raymond W. Schaffranck, US Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution


Hydrodynamics of the upper extent of the Potomac Estuary between Indian Head and Morgantown, Md. , are simulated using a two-dimensional model. The model computes water-surface elevations and depth-averaged velocities by numerically integrating finite-difference forms of the equations of mass and momentum conservation using the alternating direction implicit method. The fundamental, non-linear, unsteady-flow equations, upon which the model is formulated, include additional terms to account for Coriolis acceleration and meteorological influences. Preliminary model/prototype data comparisons show agreement to within 9% for tidal flow volumes and phase differences within the measured-data-recording interval. Use of the model to investigate the hydrodynamics and certain aspects of transport within this Potomac Estuary reach is demonstrated. Refs.

Subject Headings: Two-dimensional models | Hydrodynamics | Estuaries | Tides | Flow measurement | Mathematics | Finite difference method | Rivers and streams

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