Simulation of Flushing in Indian River Lagoon Using 1-D and 3-D Models

by Y. P. Sheng, (M.ASCE), Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,
H. K. Lee, Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,
C. E. Demas, (M.ASCE), Univ of Florida, Gainesville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


Indian River Lagoon is a long and narrow estuary along the Atlantic coast of Florida. It is connected to the ocean via three relatively narrow inlets from the north to the south: Sebastian Inlet, Fort Pierce Inlet and St. Lucie Inlet. Due to growth in population and agricultural industry, freshwater discharge from various tributaries and canals (particularly Turkey Creek, Sebastian River, and St. Lucie River) have increased significantly over the past decades, which may have contributed to the decline of certain fish species. Tidal forcing from Sebastian Inlet, Ft. Pierce Inlet, and St. Lucie Inlet provide flushing to discharges from these three rivers. For rational management of the freshwater discharges into the lagoon, it is essential to have a quantitative understanding of the circulation and flushing characteristics of the entire lagoon. This paper presents a quantitative study on the flushing characteristics of the Indian River Lagoon, using both a one-dimensional (longitudinal) model and a three-dimensional curvilinear-grid model of circulation and transport. Effects of tide, wind, density stratification, freshwater discharge, ocean flux, complex geometry, and bathymetry are included in the models. The model domain includes the three rivers and inlets mentioned above. Rather than presenting a detailed comparison between model results and field data, this paper focuses on the flushing rates in the entire lagoon computed by the 1-D and 3-D circulation and transport models.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Rivers and streams | Lagoons | Inlets (waterway) | Flushing | Water circulation | Mathematical models | Florida | United States | Turkey | Asia | Middle East

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