The main objective of this research is to investigate the governing
processes and characteristics that drive morphodynamic evolution in
alluvial estuaries by application of a process-based numerical
model (Delft3D). It is of utmost importance to understand estuarine
processes so that impact of human interference (like dredging and
land reclamation) and long-term changes (like sea level rise) can
be evaluated. The research addresses a number of cases ranging from
an rectangular basins to real estuaries like the Western Scheldt in
the Netherlands or San Pablo Bay in California. The more
schematized approach allow to study morphodynamic evolution over
several millennia under constant forcing and answers more
fundamental questions related to conditions of equilibrium and
related time scales. The more realistic cases give insight into the
skill of the approach in predicting decadal morphodynamic
developments. More processes are included to mimic realistic
conditions and model results are compared to bathymetric
measurements over the last century. The research shows that the
modeling approach is good capable of describing stable
morphodynamic calculations over a timescale of millennia with
patterns similar to patterns observed in reality. Additionally, the
approach shows that it is possible to predict decadal morphodynamic
developments in real estuaries with significant skill.
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