Three Dimensional Modeling of Circulation and Salinity in Mt. Hope Bay and the Lower Taunton River

by Wenrui Huang, Northwest Florida Water Management, District, Havana, United States,
Malcolm M. Spaulding, Northwest Florida Water Management, District, Havana, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


A three dimensional, vertical sigma coordinate hydrodynamic model was developed and applied to Mt. Hope Bay and the lower Taunton River. The model solves the conservation of water mass, momentum, and salt equations using a semi-implicit finite difference algorithm for the exterior vertically averaged flow, and a vertically implicit procedure for the interior flow and salinity on a space staggered grid system. The model was used to simulate the three dimensional tidal currents and salinity in the area in response to the dominant lunar semi-diurnal (M2) tide and annual averaged river flow. Model predictions show that the sea surface elevation is approximately 3 hours out of phase with the currents in agreement with standing wave theory. Currents are dependent on the geometry and bathymetry of the region, with stronger currents along the deep central axis of the bay. The water column varies from stratified in the Taunton River to well mixed in Mt. Hope Bay. Comparison of model predicted sea surface elevation, currents, and salinity are generally in reasonable agreement with available observations.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Salt water | Hydrologic models | Water circulation | Salinity | Bays | Rivers and streams | Terrain models | Rhode Island | United States

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