Research Project Full Title: Modeling hydrodynamics and transport processes in shallow river deltas
Principal Investigator(s): Assoc. Prof. Ben R. Hodges
Researchers: Zhi Li
Sponsor(s): Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)
The bays, river deltas and estuaries along the Texas coast have significant functional impacts to the local ecosystems and habitats. Numerical models are powerful tools studying the behaviors of these deltas and investigating the effects of possible water management strategies. We are modeling the flow and transport processes in two shallow river deltas, the Nueces River Delta and the Trinity River Delta, aiming at understanding the flow paths, inundation patterns as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of the environmental variables. This modeling is challenging due to the contradictory demands between desired performance and computational costs. High resolution bathymetry from lidar data is available, but the hydrodynamic model cannot be run at the fine grid scale of the data. We are developing methods for upscaled modeling at coarser grid resolution that will provide the correct flow distributions. A key issue is the lack of data for critical physical processes at the small scale, e.g. inflow from small tributaries, vegetation characteristics, surface-subsurface salinity exchanges. We are examining approaches to approximating the uncertain effects of unknown processes with empirical models.
Hodges, B.R. (2013) Photographic field reconnaissance of bayous between Green Lake and Mission Lake in the Guadalupe River Estuary, Center for Research in Water Resources, University of Texas at Austin, CRWR Online Report 12-08, 31 pgs., February 2013.
Hodges,B.R. (2015) “Representing hydrodynamically-important blocking features in coastal or riverine lidar topography,” Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 15:5:1011-1023, May 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1011-2015
Hodges, B.R. and Z. Li, (2016) “Salt/fresh-water exchange in a small river delta with highly-modified inflows,” 19th International Workshop on Physical Processes in Natural Waters (PPNW2016), Bath, UK, July 12-15, 2016.
Ryan, A.J. and B.R. Hodges (2011a) Modeling Hydrodynamic Fluxes in the Nueces River Delta. Center for Research in Water Resources, University of Texas at Austin, CRWR Online Report 11-07, 92 pages, October 2011.
Ryan, A.J. and B.R. Hodges (2011b), User’s Guide to the Nueces Delta Hydrodynamic Model v1.0, Center for Research in Water Resources, University of Texas at Austin, CRWR Online Report 11-08, 23 pgs., October 2011.