Application of a Two-Dimensional Finite Element Model for Shallow Water Computations,
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS HYDRAULICS LAB
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The study of difficult estuarine problems often requires the application of relatively sophisticated modeling techniques. The hybrid modeling approach, used at the Waterways Experiment Station WES, combines several physical and numerical models into an integrated solution that employs each technique to do those things for which it is best suited. By exploiting the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses of each solution method, an integrated solution is obtained that is more accurate and reliable than that attainable with any single solution technique. The example application to be described here is part of a study to predict sediment deposition in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana, and the response of the bay and river basin to that deposition. A number of models are utilized in this study to simulate river flows, sediment transport, tides, salinities, storm surges, and waves. This paper describes a horizontal plane, two-dimensional hydrodynamic finite element model, some model tests, and preliminary application to a large, topographically-complex, well-mixed estuary.