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Implementation and effects of a baroclinic contribution to ADCIRC
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This thesis presents a baroclinic circulation model constructed around the ADCIRC hydrodynamic model. ADCIRC is a finite element flow model developed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to model large domains over long periods of simulated time. Until recently, with the development of ADCIRC version 35, baroclinic forcing was excluded from the model, and circulation could only be driven by tidal potential forcing, atmospheric pressure gradients, wind fields, or Coriolis forcing. An independent derivation of the missing baroclinic component in ADCIRC version 31.05, including the equation of state for density used, and the integration of the baroclinic terms into the governing equations is presented. The baroclinic model was validated using a test case involving a closed rectangular basin and circulation forcing based purely on the baroclinic terms. The simulation results for the rectangular basin compare very well with the results predicted by the baroclinic model ADCIRC version 35. While there are differences in the solutions, this was expected since the models are based on different formulations of the baroclinic terms. Also, ADCIRC version 35 is based on direct input of the density distribution, while the baroclinic flow model is based on a derivation of the density distribution as a function of temperature and salinity distributions. In either case, the results are extremely similar and only serve to confirm the validity of both the models. The effect of baroclinicity on water surface predictions is also examined. The model was tested for an application in the Corpus Christi Bay area located off the Texas Gulf coast. Results of the baroclinic flow model simulations show that within the furthest reaches of the Corpus Christi Bay system, the effect of baroclinicity is extremely important and cannot be overlooked. In certain areas of the bay, the prediction of the free surface displacement given by the baroclinic flow model were more than double that predicted by a barotropic flow model such as ADCIRC version 31.05. Results indicate the effect of baroclinicity is important when examining oceanic flows, and that a baroclinic flow model is preferable to a barotropic one when simulating circulation problems.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 52-54).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Jarrah, Diane H. (2000). Implementation and effects of a baroclinic contribution to ADCIRC. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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