Calibration of a 3-D Hydrodynamic and Salinity Model of the Savannah River Estuary
Mendelsohn, Daniel L.
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In support of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed harbor expansion project a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was applied to serve as a tool to determine potential project impacts. The hydrodynamic model simulated salinity, currents, water surface elevation, and volume flows for the entire Lower Savannah River Estuary system (over 60 river miles). The model was calibrated and validated over two 100-day periods in 1999 and 1997, respectively. The model proved to be capable of reproducing complex, transient physical phenomena in this extremely dynamic system and provided good agreement with observed values of surface elevation, currents, and salinity. The model will be used to directly calculate project induced changes to the hydrodynamic and salinity environment, and will also provide the input to several other studies, including: a water quality model, a marsh vegetation model, and a river sedimentation model.