A One-Dimensional Diffusion Analogy Model for Estimation of Tide Heights in Selected Tidal Marshes in Connecticut

Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5076
Prepared in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
By: , and 



A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimating tide heights in coastal marshes was developed and calibrated by using data from previous tidal-marsh studies. The method is simpler to use than other one- and two-dimensional hydrodynamic models because it does not require marsh depth and tidal prism information; however, the one-dimensional diffusion analogy model cannot be used to estimate tide heights, flow velocities, and tide arrival times for tide conditions other than the highest tide for which it is calibrated. Limited validation of the method indicates that it has an accuracy within 0.3 feet. The method can be applied with limited calibration information that is based entirely on remote sensing or geographic information system data layers. The method can be used to estimate high-tide heights in tidal wetlands drained by tide gates where tide levels cannot be observed directly by opening the gates without risk of flooding properties and structures. A geographic information system application of the method is demonstrated for Sybil Creek marsh in Branford, Connecticut. The tidal flux into this marsh is controlled by two tide gates that prevent full tidal inundation of the marsh. The method application shows reasonable tide heights for the gates-closed condition (the normal condition) and the one-gate-open condition on the basis of comparison with observed heights. The condition with all tide gates open (two gates) was simulated with the model; results indicate where several structures would be flooded if the gates were removed as part of restoration efforts or if the tide gates were to fail.

Suggested Citation

Bjerklie, D.M., O’Brien, Kevin, and Rozsa, Ron, 2013, A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimation of tide heights in selected tidal marshes in Connecticut (ver. 1.1, December 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5076, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20135076.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Modeling Method and Calibration
  • Method Validation and Application for Sybil Creek
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title A one-dimensional diffusion analogy model for estimation of tide heights in selected tidal marshes in Connecticut
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2013-5076
DOI 10.3133/sir20135076
Edition Version 1.1: December 30, 2019; Version 1.0 June 11, 2013
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description iv, 17 p.
Country United States
State Connecticut
Other Geospatial Leetes Island, Pine Creek, Sybil Creek, Wilson Cove Marshes
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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