While significant studies have been conducted in Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs), very few have employed Lagrangian drifters. With recent attention on the use of GPS-tracked Lagrangian drifters to study the hydrodynamics of estuaries, there is a need to assess the potential for calibrating models using Lagrangian drifter data. Here, we calibrated and validated a hydrodynamic model in Currimundi Lake, Australia using both Eulerian and Lagrangian velocity field measurements in an open entrance condition. The results showed that there was a higher level of correlation (R2
= 0.94) between model output and observed velocity data for the Eulerian calibration compared to that of Lagrangian calibration (R2
= 0.56). This lack of correlation between model and Lagrangian data is a result of apparent difficulties in the use of Lagrangian data in Eulerian (fixed-mesh) hydrodynamic models. Furthermore, Eulerian and Lagrangian devices systematically observe different spatio-temporal scales in the flow with larger variability in the Lagrangian data. Despite these, the results show that Lagrangian calibration resulted in optimum Manning coefficients (n = 0.023) equivalent to those observed through Eulerian calibration. Therefore, Lagrangian data has the potential to be used in hydrodynamic model calibration in such aquatic systems.
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