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Seamless Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Creation for the Mississippi River in Louisiana to Support Hydrologic Modeling

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The US Army Corps of Engineers USACE, Mississippi River Geomorphology and Potamology MRG and P Program, addresses the need for the USACE to have access to the most up-to-date and technically competent scientific data and analysis for providing navigation and flood risk management in an environmentally responsible manner USACE MVD 2020. MRG and P seeks to better understand river behavior by studying existing and historical data. This is accomplished by collecting and studying numerous sources of data including in situ gauge and sediment data, ecological and geomorphological data, and in the case of this technical note, a Geographic Information System-produced Digital Elevation Model DEM. A DEM can interchangeably be called a Digital Terrain Model, but it will be referred to as a DEM in this publication. The DEM is composed of a grid of pixels spaced at regular intervals, with the pixel value representing elevation at that point Bilskie and Hagen 2013. Hydrologic modeling of rivers is common practice throughout the world, and the Mississippi River is no exception. There are at least three distinct models for which this project provides topographic and bathymetric data. Adaptive Hydraulics AdH is a modern, multi-dimensional modeling system for saturated and unsaturated groundwater, overland flow, three-dimensional 3D Navier-Stokes flow, and two-dimensional 2D or 3D shallow water problems. Developed by the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the 2D shallow water module of AdH was released to the public in September 2007 ERDC 2014. Additional development later provided 3D representations of model physics and includes river basins, reservoirs, estuaries, and groundwater features. The AdH numerical model accounts for numerous variables, which include friction caused by stream bed conditions sediment type, size and load structures affecting stream flow and vessel movement.

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