Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary

S.D. Sandbach, A.P. Nicholas, Philip Ashworth, J.L. Best, C. Keevil, D.R. Parsons, Eric W. Prokocki, C.J. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The transition between riverine and estuarine environments is characterised by a transition from unidirectional to bidirectional flows, in a region referred to herein as the Tidally-Influenced Fluvial Zone (TIFZ). In order to improve our understanding of the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of this zone, we present a combined field and numerical modelling study of the Columbia River Estuary (CRE), USA, tidally-influenced fluvial zone. The CRE is large measuring 40 km in length and between 5 and 10 km wide. A shallow water model (Delft3D) was applied in both 2D and 3D configurations and model sensitivity to the key process parameterizations was investigated. Our results indicate that a 2D model constrained within the estuary can sufficiently reproduce depth-averaged flow within the TIFZ of a stratified estuary.

Model results highlight the interactions between tidal-, fluvial- and topographic-forcing that result in depth dependent tidal rectification, and thus zones of residual sediment transport that: i) may be flood-directed along shallow channel margins and in the lee of bars, and simultaneously ii) is ebb-directed within deeper channel thalwegs. This condition is enhanced at lower discharges, but increased fluvial discharge reduces the number and size of regions with net flood-directed sediment transport and flow. These sediment transport patterns provide a mechanism to extend the bar/island topography downstream, and generate flood-directed, ebb-directed, and symmetrical bedforms, all within the same channel. Analysis of the model data reveals flood-directed sediment transport is due to both tidal variability and mean flow. These results highlight the need to include the mean flow component (M0) when considering the long-term morphodynamic evolution in a TIFZ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-188
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume212
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

hydrodynamics
estuary
sediment transport
river
modeling
morphodynamics
estuarine environment
bedform
parameterization
shallow water
topography

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

Keywords

  • Sediment transport
  • Tidal constituent
  • Residual flow
  • Tidal-fluvial interactions
  • Columbia river estuary
  • Model parameterisation

Cite this

Sandbach, S. D., Nicholas, A. P., Ashworth, P., Best, J. L., Keevil, C., Parsons, D. R., ... Simpson, C. J. (2018). Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 212, 176-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2018.06.023
Sandbach, S.D. ; Nicholas, A.P. ; Ashworth, Philip ; Best, J.L. ; Keevil, C. ; Parsons, D.R. ; Prokocki, Eric W. ; Simpson, C.J. / Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary. In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 2018 ; Vol. 212. pp. 176-188.
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Sandbach, SD, Nicholas, AP, Ashworth, P, Best, JL, Keevil, C, Parsons, DR, Prokocki, EW & Simpson, CJ 2018, 'Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary', Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 212, pp. 176-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2018.06.023

Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary. / Sandbach, S.D.; Nicholas, A.P.; Ashworth, Philip; Best, J.L.; Keevil, C.; Parsons, D.R.; Prokocki, Eric W.; Simpson, C.J.

In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 212, 27.06.2018, p. 176-188.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Hydrodynamic modelling of tidal-fluvial flows in a large river estuary

AU - Sandbach, S.D.

AU - Nicholas, A.P.

AU - Ashworth, Philip

AU - Best, J.L.

AU - Keevil, C.

AU - Parsons, D.R.

AU - Prokocki, Eric W.

AU - Simpson, C.J.

N1 - © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).

PY - 2018/6/27

Y1 - 2018/6/27

N2 - The transition between riverine and estuarine environments is characterised by a transition from unidirectional to bidirectional flows, in a region referred to herein as the Tidally-Influenced Fluvial Zone (TIFZ). In order to improve our understanding of the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of this zone, we present a combined field and numerical modelling study of the Columbia River Estuary (CRE), USA, tidally-influenced fluvial zone. The CRE is large measuring 40 km in length and between 5 and 10 km wide. A shallow water model (Delft3D) was applied in both 2D and 3D configurations and model sensitivity to the key process parameterizations was investigated. Our results indicate that a 2D model constrained within the estuary can sufficiently reproduce depth-averaged flow within the TIFZ of a stratified estuary.Model results highlight the interactions between tidal-, fluvial- and topographic-forcing that result in depth dependent tidal rectification, and thus zones of residual sediment transport that: i) may be flood-directed along shallow channel margins and in the lee of bars, and simultaneously ii) is ebb-directed within deeper channel thalwegs. This condition is enhanced at lower discharges, but increased fluvial discharge reduces the number and size of regions with net flood-directed sediment transport and flow. These sediment transport patterns provide a mechanism to extend the bar/island topography downstream, and generate flood-directed, ebb-directed, and symmetrical bedforms, all within the same channel. Analysis of the model data reveals flood-directed sediment transport is due to both tidal variability and mean flow. These results highlight the need to include the mean flow component (M0) when considering the long-term morphodynamic evolution in a TIFZ.

AB - The transition between riverine and estuarine environments is characterised by a transition from unidirectional to bidirectional flows, in a region referred to herein as the Tidally-Influenced Fluvial Zone (TIFZ). In order to improve our understanding of the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of this zone, we present a combined field and numerical modelling study of the Columbia River Estuary (CRE), USA, tidally-influenced fluvial zone. The CRE is large measuring 40 km in length and between 5 and 10 km wide. A shallow water model (Delft3D) was applied in both 2D and 3D configurations and model sensitivity to the key process parameterizations was investigated. Our results indicate that a 2D model constrained within the estuary can sufficiently reproduce depth-averaged flow within the TIFZ of a stratified estuary.Model results highlight the interactions between tidal-, fluvial- and topographic-forcing that result in depth dependent tidal rectification, and thus zones of residual sediment transport that: i) may be flood-directed along shallow channel margins and in the lee of bars, and simultaneously ii) is ebb-directed within deeper channel thalwegs. This condition is enhanced at lower discharges, but increased fluvial discharge reduces the number and size of regions with net flood-directed sediment transport and flow. These sediment transport patterns provide a mechanism to extend the bar/island topography downstream, and generate flood-directed, ebb-directed, and symmetrical bedforms, all within the same channel. Analysis of the model data reveals flood-directed sediment transport is due to both tidal variability and mean flow. These results highlight the need to include the mean flow component (M0) when considering the long-term morphodynamic evolution in a TIFZ.

KW - Sediment transport

KW - Tidal constituent

KW - Residual flow

KW - Tidal-fluvial interactions

KW - Columbia river estuary

KW - Model parameterisation

U2 - 10.1016/j.ecss.2018.06.023

DO - 10.1016/j.ecss.2018.06.023

M3 - Article

VL - 212

SP - 176

EP - 188

JO - Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

JF - Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

SN - 0272-7714

ER -