Scientia Marina, Vol 67, No 4 (2003)

Modelling of the Ebro River plume. Validation with field observations


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2003.67n4379

Marc Mestres
Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain

Joan Pau Sierra
Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain

Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla
Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain

Julio González del Río
Laboratorio de Tecnologías del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain

Thomas Wolf
Institute for Lake Research. Dept. Hydrology & Lake Physics, Germany

Andres Rodríguez
Laboratorio de Hidráulica, FCEFyN, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina

Sylvain Ouillon
Centre IRD Nouméa, France

Abstract


The spreading of the plume induced by the freshwater discharge from the Ebro River into northwestern Mediterranean coastal waters was modelled using two numerical codes. The coastal current field was obtained with a finite difference hydrodynamic model based on a steady-state version of the shallow-water equations, whereas the freshwater dispersion was calculated with a Lagrangian code that solves the 3D convection-diffusion equation and reproduces turbulent diffusion using a random-walk algorithm. The agreement obtained between numerical results, satellite observations and field measurements allows an analysis of the more relevant physical mechanisms and the corresponding tuning of the two models. The results show that local hydrodynamics near the river mouth, and consequently the spreading of the river plume, are highly dependent on the driving river discharge and wind field characteristics.

Keywords


Ebro River; river plume; numerical modelling; hydrodynamics; dispersion

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