Numerical simulations of surface-water systems can be a useful tool to predict and understand a variety of physical, chemical, and ecological processes. A number of applications have been conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey Missouri Water Science Center in conjunction with ecological and flood studies in Missouri. Numerical simulations can provide a physically based method to predict natural processes in situations where it is impractical to measure the results directly as a result of cost, time, or infrequent occurrence.
Numerical simulations provide a means of analyzing 'What if?' scenarios. For example, a simulation can be used to estimate the effects of reservoirs in a basin on the timing and magnitude of downstream streamflows. Simulations also may provide a better understanding of a complex process, such as sediment transport and deposition during a large flood. Alternatively, numerical simulations can be used to quantify aquatic habitat that is defined by the hydraulic (depth and velocity) characteristics of streamflow. This report provides information on recent applications of numerical simulations of hydraulic, floodplain, and watershed processes.