|Title||A modeling study of the Satilla River estuary, Georgia. II: Suspended sediment|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Authors||Zheng, L, Chen, C, Alber, M, Liu, H|
A three-dimensional (3-D) suspended sediment model was coupled with a 3-D hydrodynamic numerical model and used to examine the spatial and temporal distribution of suspended sediments in the Satilla River estuary of Georgia. The hydrodynamic model was a modified ECOM-si model with inclusion of the flooding-drying cycle over intertidal salt marshes. The suspended sediment model consisted of a simple passive tracer equation with inclusion of sinking, resuspension, and sedimentation processes. The coupled model was driven by tidal forcing at the open boundary over the inner shelf of the South Atlantic Bight and real-time river discharge at the upstream end of the estuary, with a uniform initial distribution of total suspended sediment (TSS). The initial conditions for salinity were specified using observations taken along the estuary. The coupled model provided a reasonable simulation of both the spatial and temporal distributions of observed TSS concentration. Model-predicted TSS concentrations varied over a tidal cycle; they were highest at maximum flood and ebb tidal phases and lowest at slack tides. Model-guided process studies suggest that the spatial distribution of TSS concentration in the Satilla River estuary is controlled by a complex nonlinear physical process associated with the convergence and divergence of residual flow, a non-uniform along-estuary distribution of bottom stress, and the inertial effects of a curved shoreline.