Observations Related to the Use of the Sigma Coordinate Transformation for Estuarine and Coastal Modeling Studies

by John F. Paul, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Narragansett, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


One of the common techniques used in application of time-dependent, three-dimensional models addressing estuarine and coastal environmental problems is the sigma coordinate transformation. This transformation has proven useful in applications with highly irregular bottom topography. However, numerous modeling studies have noted difficulties, including spurious density-induced motions and increased velocity fields at depth in variable topography domains. Calculations are presented to illustrate that the common practice of neglecting terms can be responsible for spurious velocities.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Estuaries | Topography | Mathematical models | Mathematics | Fluid velocity | Time dependence

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