Dike and Groyne Model

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It is a challenge for a terrain-following coordinate ocean model to simulate the flow field in an estuarine or coastal system with dikes and groynes. In most cases, the constructions are usually submerged during high tide but out of the water during low tide. If a vertical wall is placed within the computational domain, then terrain-following coordinate transformation can fail. Adding a slope on the surface of a dike or groyne could make the topographic coordinate transformation work, but it changes the fluid dynamics. Instead of solid blocking (no flux towards the wall) in the lower column with the dike or groyne and free exchange in the upper column above the construction, the model makes the water flow along the submerged construction under the dynamical of the sloping bottom boundary layer. As a result, this slope treatment could overestimate vertical and lateral mixing and thus produce unrealistic circulation around the construction.

Coastal inundation, which is defined as coastal flooding of normally dry land caused by heavy rains, high river discharge, tides, storm surge, tsunami processes, or some combination thereof, has been received intense attention in model applications to coastal and estuarine problems. In many coastal regions, dams are built around the area where the height of land is lower or close to the mean sea level to protect the land from flooding. An inundation forecast system is aimed at making warming of coastal flooding on an event timescale in order to facilitate evacuation and other emergency measures to protect human life and property in the coastal zone, and to accurate estimating the statistics of coastal inundation in order to enable rational planning regarding sustainable land-use practices in the coastal zone. A model used for this application must produce accurate, real-time forecasts of water level at high spatial resolution in the coastal zone and must have the capability to resolve the overtopping process of dams. These dams are like a solid wall boundary when the water level is lower than it, but become submerged constructions like dikes when flooding occurs. The wet/dry treatment technology is capable of resolving coastal flooding (Chen et al., 2006a,b), but cannot since handle a vertical seawall in the computational domain.

We have developed an unstructured grid dike and groyne treatment algorithm in a terrain-following coordinate system to calculate the velocity and tracer concentration in the coastal or estuarine system with emerged or submerged dikes and groynes. This algorithm has been coded into FVCOM with MPI parallelization, and validated for idealized cases with dike-groyne construction where analytical solutions or laboratory experiment results are available. The FVCOM with inclusion of dike and groyne treatment module has been applied to simulate the flow field off the Changjiang Estuary where a dike-groyne structure was constructed in the Deep Waterway channel in the inner shelf of the East China Sea and also to simulate the coastal inundation in Scituate Harbor, Massachusetts. The validation and application results were written up for a paper and submitted to Ocean Modeling (Ge et al. 2011). A brief description of this module is given below.

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