A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of estuarine circulation with an application to Southampton Water, UK

Levasseur, A.; Shi, L.; Wells, N.C.; Purdie, D.A.; Kelly-Gerreyn, B.A.. 2007 A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of estuarine circulation with an application to Southampton Water, UK. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 73 (3-4). 753-767.

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A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model has been developed to simulate water mass circulation in estuarine systems. This model is based on the primitive equation in Cartesian coordinates with a terrain-following structure, coupled with a MelloreYamada 2.5 turbulence scheme. A fractional-step method is applied and the subset of equations is solved with finite volume and finite element methods. A dryewet process simulates the presence of the tidal flat at low water. River inputs are introduced using a point-source method. The model was applied to a partially mixed, macrotidal, temperate estuary: Southampton Water, UK. The model is validated by comparisons with sea surface elevation, ADCP measurements and salinity data collected in 2001. The mean spring range 2(M2 þ S2) and the mean neap range 2(M2 S2) are modelled with an error relative to observation of 12 and 16%, respectively. The unique tidal regime of the system with the presence of the ‘young flood stand’ corresponding to the slackening conditions occurring at mid flood and ‘double high water’ corresponding to an extension of the slackening conditions at high tide is accurately reproduced in the model. The dynamics of the modelled mean surface and bottom velocity closely match the ADCP measurements during neap tides (rms of the difference is 0.09 and 0.01 m s1 at the bottom and at the surface, respectively), whereas at spring the difference is greater (rms of the difference is 0.25 and 0.20 m s1 at bottom and surface, respectively). The spatial and temporal variation of the degree of stratification as indicated by salinity distributions compares well with observations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0272-7714
Date made live: 24 May 2007 +0 (UTC)

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