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A one-dimensional model capable of simulating flow in a network of interconnected channels has been applied to the tidal Potomac River including its major tributaries and embayments between Washington, D.C., and Indian Head, Md. The model can be used to compute water-surface elevations and flow discharges at any of 66 predetermined locations or at any alternative river cross sections definable within the network of channels. In addition, the model can be used to provide tidal-interchange flow volumes and to evaluate tidal excursions and the flushing properties of the riverine system. Comparisons of model-computed results with measured watersurface elevations and discharges demonstrate the validity and accuracy of the model. Tidal-cycle flow volumes computed by the calibrated model have been verified to be within an accuracy of ? 10 percent. Quantitative characteristics of the hydrodynamics of the tidal river are identified and discussed. The comprehensive flow data provided by the model can be used to better understand the geochemical, biological, and other processes affecting the river's water quality.
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A flow-simulation model of the tidal Potomac River