Abstract

In this study, a hydrodynamic and salinity transport model was developed for simulations of Sabine Lake water system located on the Texas-Louisiana border. The target simulation area ranges from Sabine River near Deweyville, TX as the north boundary to the Gulf of Mexico as the south boundary, and from Neches River near Beaumont, TX as the west boundary to part of Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and Sabine River Diversion Canal (SRDC) as the east boundary. The entire area includes several major water bodies, such as Sabine Lake, Sabine River, Sabine Pass, Sabine Neches Canal (Ship Channel), and part of GIWW and SRDC. The SRDC supplies fresh water to the area industry, mainly petrochemical. High salinity in SRDC could significantly affect the daily production of the industry. The major purposes of this study is to use the validated hydrodynamic and salinity transport model to assess and predict the salinity in SRDC under severe weather conditions such as hurricane storm surges. Measurement data from NOAA and USGS were used to calibrate the boundary conditions as well as to validate the model. Two different levels of storm surges each lasting for 24 hours were simulated, 0.5 and 1 meter, respectively, and the salinity in SRDC was monitored and compared to analyze the storm surge threats on SDRC water quality. The result shows that it took about 2 days for the salinity reaching SRDC under the 1m storm surge condition and about 3 days under 0.5m surge condition and the salinity value could reach as high as 5 to 10 ppt.

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