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|Finite element modelling of the Scheldt estuary and the adjacent Belgian/Dutch coastal zone with application to the transport of fecal bacteria|
|de Brye, B.; Deleersnijder, E.; de Brauwere, A.; Gourgue, O.; Passerat, J.; Servais, P. (2008). Finite element modelling of the Scheldt estuary and the adjacent Belgian/Dutch coastal zone with application to the transport of fecal bacteria, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2008). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium, 29 February 2008: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 40: pp. 43|
|In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2008). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium, 29 February 2008: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 40. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ix, 96 pp., meer|
|In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, meer|
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A fundamental problem in coastal modelling is the need to simultaneously consider large- and small-scale processes, especially when local dynamics or local environmental issues are of interest. The approach widely resorted to is based on a nesting strategy by which coarse grid large scale model provide boundary conditions to force fine resolution local models. This is probably the best solution for finite difference methods, needing structured grids. However, the use of structured grids leads to a marked lack of flexibility in the spatial resolution. Another solution is to take advantage of the potential of the more modern finite element methods, which allow the use of unstructured grids in which the mesh size may vary over a wide spectrum. With these methods only one model is required to describe both the larger and the smaller scales.
Such a model is use herein, namely the Second-generation Louvain-la-Neuve Ice-ocean Model (SLIM, http://www.climate.be/SLIM). For one of its first realistic applications, the Scheldt Estuary area is studied. The hydrodynamics is primarily forced by the tide and the neatest way to take it into account is to fix it at the shelf break. This results in a multi-scale problem since the domain boundary lies at the shelf break, and covers about 1000km of the North Sea and 60km of the actual estuary, and ends with a 100km long section of the Scheldt River until Ghent where the river is not more than 50 m wide.
Two-dimensional elements are used to simulate the hydrodynamics from the shelf break to Antwerp (80km upstream of the mouth) and one-dimensional elements for the riverine part between Antwerp and Ghent.
For first application we consider the transport of faecal bacteria (Escherichia coli) which is an important water quality indicator.
The model will be described in detail and the simulation results will be discussed. This modelling exercise actually falls within the framework of the interdisciplinary project TIMOTHY (http://www.climate.be/TIMOTHY) dedicated to the modelling of ecological indicators in the Scheldt area.