An understanding of sediment transport processes and resultant concentration dynamics in estuaries is of great importance to engineering design awareness and the management of these environments. Predictive modelling approaches provide an opportunity to investigate and address potential system responses to nominated events, changes, or conditions of interest, often on high temporal and spatial resolution scales. In this study, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model and wave model were validated and applied to generate forcing conditions for input into a sediment transport model for the period 7 May 2010–30 October 2010 within a macro tidal estuary, Port Curtis estuary (Australia). The hydrodynamic model was verified against surface and near-bottom current measurements. The model accurately reproduced the variations of surface and near-bottom currents at both a mid-estuary and upper-estuary location. Sediment transport model predictions were performed under varying meteorological conditions and tidal forcing over a 180-day period and were validated against turbidity data collected at six stations within Port Curtis estuary. The sediment transport model was able to predict both the magnitudes of the turbidity levels and the modulation induced by the neap and spring tides and wind-wave variations. The model-predicted (converted) turbidity levels compared favourably with the measured surface water turbidity levels at all six stations. The study results have useful practical application for Port Curtis estuary, including providing predictive capabilities to support the selection of locations for monitoring/compliance sites.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited