A framework for coupling shoals and shallow embayments with main channels in numerical modeling of coastal plain estuaries
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A simple computational framework is developed to include shoals and shallow embayments (SSE) and their interaction with main channels in estuarine modeling. The scheme, treating SSE as temporary storage areas, accounts for the water and material exchanges between SSE and main channels as the tide rises and falls, and for the biogeochemical processes affecting nonconservative substances such as water-quality parameters in SSE. The scheme, because of its simple nature, can be easily incorporated into one-, two- or three-dimensional models of estuaries with substantial SSE. The concept and the model implementation of the scheme are explained using a vertical two-dimensional model of estuarine hydrodynamics and water quality. The model application to the tidal Rappahannock River, a western shore tributary of Chesapeake Bay, demonstrates the scheme is simple and physically reasonable, and the importance of SSE in estuarine modeling. The inclusion of SSE in a water-quality model not only provides a framework, for computing water-quality conditions therein but also accounts for the interaction between SSE and the main channel. It is shown that significant errors may result if the effects of SSE are not properly accounted for in modeling of an estuary with extensive SSE. 1995, Estuarine Research Federation. All rights reserved.