tides, numerical modeling, hydrodynamics, model bathymetry, Pascagoula River


This thesis focuses on the simulation of astronomic tides of the Pascagoula River. The work is comprised of five steps: 1) Production of a digital elevation model describing the entire Pascagoula River system; 2) Development of an inlet-based, unstructured mesh for inbank flow to better understand the basis of the hydrodynamics within the Pascagoula riverine system. In order to assist in the mesh development, a toolbox was constructed to implement one-dimensional river cross sections into the two-dimensional model; 3) Implementation of a sensitivity analysis of the Pascagoula River two inlet system to examine the inlet effects on tidal propagation; 4) Improvement of the inlet-based model by performing a preliminary assessment of a spatially varied bottom friction; 5) Implementation of an advection analysis to reveal its influence on the flow velocity and water elevation within the domain. The hydrodynamic model employed for calculating tides is ADCIRC-2DDI (ADvanced CIRCulation Model for Shelves, Coasts and Estuaries, Two-Dimensional Depth Integrated). This finite element based model solves the shallow water equations in their full nonlinear form. Boundary conditions including water surface elevation at the off-shore boundary and tidal potential terms allow the full simulation of astronomic tides. The improved astronomic tide model showed strong agreement with the historical data at seven water level monitoring gauge stations. The main conclusions of this research are: 1) The western inlet of the Pascagoula River is more dominant than the eastern inlet; however, it is necessary to include both inlets in the model. 2) Although advection plays a significant role in velocity simulation, water elevations are insensitive to advection. 3) The astronomic model is sensitive to bottom friction (both global and spatial variations); therefore, a spatially varied bottom friction coefficient is suggested. As a result of this successful effort to produce an astronomic tide model of the Pascagoula River, a comprehensive storm surge model can be developed. With the addition of inundation areas the surge model can be expected to accurately predict storm tides generated by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.


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Graduation Date



Hagen, Scott


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

September 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)