Tributary Loading with a Terrain Following Coordinate System

by David P. Podber, (M.ASCE), Ohio State Univ, Columbus, United States,
Keith W. Bedford, (M.ASCE), Ohio State Univ, Columbus, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


The modeling of physical processes that occur in a tributary between the farthest downstream gage and the lake interface can help to improve the predictive capabilities of Great Lakes modeling. The Maumee River was the study venue and is unique among Great Lakes tributaries in its estuarine-like behavior. When wind-driven seiches occur, they have a 14-hour period and significant amplitudes causing flow reversals in the river. A transport calculation of mass, momentum and heat was performed using the laterally averaged Navier-Stokes equations, a terrain-following coordinate system, and the Mellor-Yamada level 2.5 closure scheme. Mode splitting was used to separate the external and internal modes, and the external mode was calculated using a fully non-linear river model developed by Bedford, Sykes and Libicki (1983). Numerical experiments were performed to simulate spring and fall conditions with river discharges of magnitude sufficient to capture current reversals in the study region. Errors and stability considerations associated with the usual simplifications to the governing equations are examined.

Subject Headings: Lakes | Numerical models | Navier-Stokes equations | Terrain models | Rivers and streams | Load factors | Wind loads | Great Lakes

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