Date of Award

Summer 6-21-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Kemal Cambazoglu

Committee Chair School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Member 2

Dr. Jerry Wiggert

Committee Member 2 School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Member 3

Dr. Maarten Buijsman

Committee Member 3 School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Committee Member 4

Dr. Gaurav Savant

Abstract

The Pearl River brings fresh water and nutrients into Lake Borgne regulating conditions for oyster growth in estuarine waters. However, there are no flow measurement stations installed on East Pearl or West Pearl either at the river outlets or after the upstream bifurcation of the Pearl. This study aims to model the Lower Pearl River to understand the flow dynamics in the major branches, and to determine the final outflow distribution into the Mississippi Sound, aiming to improve river forcing for ocean models studying estuarine dynamics of the Mississippi Sound.

Synthetic meandering bathymetry with updated banks is developed and applied to represent major branches of Pearl River and is verified using survey data at East Pearl. A riverine HEC-RAS model is set up, calibrated for 2014, and validated for 2015, 2019, and 2020, The model showed good performance with high values of Correlation Coefficient(>0.85), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (>0.6), Wilmott Skill (>0.8), Kling-Gupta Efficiency (>0.7) and low values of Percent Bias (

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