Data-Collection Program for Pamlico River Estuary Model Calibration and Validation

by Jerad D. Bales, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


An investigation is being conducted to collect and interpret continuous records relating to the flow characteristics of the Pamlico River Estuary, North Carolina, and to calibrate and validate a numerical model of estuarine hydrodynamics. The study reach is 50 kilometers long and ranges in width from 330 meters at the upstream boundary to 6.4 kilometers at the downstream end. Water levels are recorded at 6 locations along the estuary; daily water-level range is typically greater at the head of the estuary than at the mouth, most likely due to upstream narrowing of the channel. Water-quality data are recorded at 14 locations. These data indicate that saline waters with low dissolved oxygen concentrations move upstream along the bottom of the estuary. Point velocities were monitored for 3 weeks at 7 locations; vertical profiles of horizontal velocity were made at the boundaries of the study reach for about 32 hours. Local tributary inflows and wind speed and direction are also being determined.

Subject Headings: Estuaries | Numerical models | Rivers and streams | Calibration | Data collection | Validation | Hydrologic models | Mathematical models | North Carolina

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