Tidal, Residual, Intertidal Mudflat (TRIM) Model and its Applications to San Francisco Bay, California

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

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DOI: 10.1006/ecss.1993.1016



A numerical model using a semi-implicit finite-difference method for solving the two-dimensional shallow-water equations is presented. The gradient of the water surface elevation in the momentum equations and the velocity divergence in the continuity equation are finite-differenced implicitly, the remaining terms are finite-differenced explicitly. The convective terms are treated using an Eulerian-Lagrangian method. The combination of the semi-implicit finite-difference solution for the gravity wave propagation, and the Eulerian-Lagrangian treatment of the convective terms renders the numerical model unconditionally stable. When the baroclinic forcing is included, a salt transport equation is coupled to the momentum equations, and the numerical method is subject to a weak stability condition. The method of solution and the properties of the numerical model are given. This numerical model is particularly suitable for applications to coastal plain estuaries and tidal embayments in which tidal currents are dominant, and tidally generated residual currents are important. The model is applied to San Francisco Bay, California where extensive historical tides and current-meter data are available. The model calibration is considered by comparing time-series of the field data and of the model results. Alternatively, and perhaps more meaningfully, the model is calibrated by comparing the harmonic constants of tides and tidal currents derived from field data with those derived from the model. The model is further verified by comparing the model results with an independent data set representing the wet season. The strengths and the weaknesses of the model are assessed based on the results of model calibration and verification. Using the model results, the properties of tides and tidal currents in San Francisco Bay are characterized and discussed. Furthermore, using the numerical model, estimates of San Francisco Bay's volume, surface area, mean water depth, tidal prisms, and tidal excursions at spring and neap tides are computed. Additional applications of the model reveal, qualitatively the spatial distribution of residual variables. ?? 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.

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Tidal, Residual, Intertidal Mudflat (TRIM) Model and its Applications to San Francisco Bay, California
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Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
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