Numerical Simulation of a Shallow Estuary—Weeks Bay, Alabama

by Zhaodong Lu, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
Barry McCormick, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
Chris Faison, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
Gary April, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
Donald Raney, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
William Schroeder, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


This paper describes a study of Weeks Bay, Alabama, an estuary located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in the northern Gulf of Mexico. In this study the WIFM model is used to simulate Weeks Bay as a two-dimensional, depth averaged system. River models are adapted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WASP4 package to simulate two major river inputs (Fish and Magnolia Rivers). The case studies presented are representative of two important man-made activities for Weeks Bay. The first is a study of the effect of dredging a boat channel within the estuary. Numerical simulation of the bay will be used to evaluate changes in water flow and salinity patterns caused by the channel relative to those noted when the channel is absent. The second case study will focus on the impact of abnormally high BOD loads in the Fish and Magnolia Rivers on Weeks Bay. The predictions of both pollutant transport and fate can be used as an aid for making resource allocation and management decisions in order to achieve the designated water quality objectives of local communities. The two studies will demonstrate the utility of numerical models in defining and evaluating behavior within the system.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Two-dimensional models | Rivers and streams | Bays | Water pollution | Numerical analysis | Flow measurement | Fish management | Alabama | United States | Gulf of Mexico

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