Numerical model for the prediction of transient water quality in estuary networks




Dailey, James E and Donald R.F. Harleman

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sea Grant Project Office


A numerical model is developed for the prediction of transient water quality in an estuary represented as a network of branched and looped, one-dimensional channels. A one-dimensional network model is very useful, inasmuch as it can be applied to geometrically complex estuaries which often consist of connected channels and embayments. ...The numerical solution procedures used in this study are based on the method of weighted residuals, which is an application technique of the finite element method. Convergence and discretization criteria are developed to aid to the user in choosing the mesh spacing and time step. To demonstrate the predictive capability of the mathematical model, computed results are compared with available data from dye test experiments in the James River Model at the Waterways Experiment Station and with field data obtained from dye tests in Cork Harbour, Ireland. Cork Harbour is used to show the benefits which can be achieved by intermittent rather than continuous injection of wastes near the ocean boundary.


226 pgs.


dissolved oxygen, bio-chemical oxygen demand, salinity, temperature, mathematical model, water quality, estuaries