System Simulation of Tidal Hydrodynamic Phenomena in Galveston Bay, Texas
Hsieh, Bernard Bor-Nian
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An alternative method, capable of analyzing changes at individual points in an estuary, as opposed to the global solutions generated by the numerical models, is desirable. This alternative method must also be able to run in a short period of time. A system response approach using the input/output relationships from a numerical model to describe the dynamic behavior of tidal hydrodynamic phenomena can be used to play this role. The system response functions from a numerical model verified for a particular location can be used to simulate the resulting output function, such as change in salinity, when input forcing functions, such as tidal variation and freshwater inflow, change. This approach was used to address the salinity response due to freshwater inflow changes for 16 selected locations in Galveston Bay, Texas. The system model base was constructed by selected node points from three-dimensional (3-D) numerical hydrodynamic model results. The annual numerical simulation of both base geometry (12-m-deep (40-ft-deep) channel) and project conditions (13.7-m-deep 945-ft-deep) channel) for 1990 medium-flow conditions was used to construct the system response function. Three major tributaries (Trinity River, San Jacinto River, and Buffalo Bayou) were considered as primary freshwater inflow points. The objective of this work was to use the capability of system simulation techniques to evaluate salinity changes at 16 selected points in the bay for conditions predicted for medium freshwater inflow conditions in 1999.