Ship Navigation Simulation Study, Southwest Pass Entrance, Mississippi River.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS HYDRAULICS LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Southwest Pass, Mississippi River, is the main deep-draft navigational entrance into the Mississippi River and provides ocean access to many terminals servicing the industries along the lower river. The pre-project channel was authorized at 600 ft wide and 40 ft deep, and proposed to be deepened to 45 ft to accommodate greater inbound tanker ships and outbound bulk grain carriers. The purpose of the navigation ship simulation study was to determine the required channel width in the Southwest Pass to provide safe and efficient ship navigation, consistent with the minimum width to reduce dredging. The then-existing channel was simulated and the results compared with several alternate channel widths. The study included Mississippi River flows a high of 1,300,000 cfs and a low of 640,000 cfs to bracket the normally expected range of velocities. Current velocities were developed using the TABS modeling systems. Only the entrance area of the Southwest Pass region was studied. Pilots participated in the simulation validation and formal pilot testing of the channel alternatives. Tankers were used in the existing channel and in the proposed deepened entrance channel. Test results for all piloted simulations were analyzed and included ship track plots and statistical analysis of key ship control parameters. The simulation test results showed that the larger design ship will be able to safely navigate through the Southwest Pass entrance into the Mississippi River. Based on the study, it was recommended that the entrance channel width be increased from 600 ft to 700 ft for a short distance of about 3,000 ft on the western edge of the entrance channel.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology