Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels, Texas Project. Report 2: two-dimensional numerical modeling of hydrodynamics




Hsin-Chi J. Lin

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U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station


The Houston-Galveston Channel Project consists of about 65 miles of deep water channels leading from the Gulf of Mexico to the Houston Turning Basin at the head of navigation and Galveston Channel, a side channel from Bolivar Roads to Galveston Harbor. The present channel dimensions are 400 ft. wide and 40 ft. deep at the mean low tide for most of the channel. The Galveston Channel is 1,125 ft. wide and 40 ft. deep at the mean low tide. This study used the TABS-MD numerical modeling system to simulate water levels and currents of different channel design conditions for Houston-Galveston navigation channels. These hydrodynamic conditions were used in a separate ship simulator study. Water level measurements at six tide gages and velocity measurements taken during a 14-hr survey on 18-20 July 1990 at five current stations were used to verify the model. A different subset of water levels from 20-22 November 1990 were used to further verify the model. The verified model was used to simulate the hydrodynamics for the existing and two proposed channel configurations of the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Channel. The peak ebb and flood currents and water levels for each design were used as computer files for use in the ship simulator study. Comparisons of existing channel velocities with those for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project indicate slight increases in the lower part of the Houston Ship Channel.


28 pgs., 87 plates


channels, hydraulic engineering, hydrodynamics, mathematical models, salinity