A box model to simulate water volume and salinity of a salt pond has been developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to obtain water and salinity budgets. The model, SPOOM, uses the principle of conservation of mass to calculate daily pond volume and salinity and includes a salt crystallization and dissolution algorithm. Model inputs include precipitation, evaporation, infiltration, and water transfers. Salinity and water-surface-elevation data were collected monthly in the Napa-Sonoma Salt-Pond Complex from February 1999 through September 2001 and were used to calibrate and validate the model. The months when water transfers occurred were known but the magnitudes were unknown, so the magnitudes of water transfers were adjusted in the model to calibrate simulated pond volumes to measured pond volumes for three ponds. Modeled salinity was then compared with measured salinity, which remained a free parameter, in order to validate the model. Comparison showed good correlation between modeled and measured salinity. Deviations can be attributed to lack of water-transfer information. Water and salinity budgets obtained through modeling will be used to help interpret ecological data from the ponds. This model has been formulated to be applicable to the Napa-Sonoma salt ponds, but can be applied to other salt ponds.
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USGS Numbered Series
Salt-Pond Box Model (SPOOM) and Its Application to the Napa-Sonoma Salt Ponds, San Francisco Bay, California