Modeling Contaminated Sediments

by Robert K. Simons, (M.ASCE), Hydraulic Engineer and President; Simons & Associates, Fort Collins, CO,
Daryl B. Simons, (M.ASCE), Principal Engineer and Vice-President; Simons & Associates, Fort Collins, CO,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 9, Pg. 73-75

Document Type: Feature article


Using a computer model to analyze and predict sediment transport only works when the analyst considers the model's limitations and the physical processes involved, and conducts adequate calibration and verification. Sediment transport computer models and their application are an important part of analyzing the physical processes of sediment transport. Used to predict erosion or deposition of sediment on a channel bed and the transport of sediment past a point or through a reach of river or estuary, these models address a number of issues: Channel stability and dynamics related to how channels change due to erosion or sedimentation. How such channel changes affect flooding and the stability of bridges, levees, piers, diversions and other structures built in or adjacent to rivers and estuaries. Channel changes related to environmental habitat. Transport of contaminated sediment. Stability of the reaches of rivers, estuaries and other water bodies where contaminated sediment may exist. Of particular interest is predicting potential erosion, deposition, transport or stability of contaminated sediments in river/estuary systems. Hazardous materials and contaminated sediment tend to concentrate in rivers flowing into lakes or along the coastal areas of the country where the greatest production of such materials occurred, as well as where sediment is transported and tends to deposit. The most typical contaminated sediment site is located in the lower portions of rivers and estuary systems.

Subject Headings: Sediment transport | Computer models | Water pollution | Hydrologic models | Channel stabilization | Estuaries | Computer analysis | Physical models

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