Storm-surge flood is a major thread to the inhabitants and the health of the marshes in Southwest Louisiana. The floods caused direct damages to the area, but also indirectly caused excessive sedimentations in the water system, especially in Calcasieu Ship Channel which is a vital industrial water way connecting the City of Lake Charles to the Gulf. It is well known that coastal wetlands and marshes have significant impacts on the prevention and reduction of coastal floods. The wetland vegetation creates larger frictions to the flooding water and acts as the first line of defense against any storm surge floods. In this study, we center Calcasieu Ship Channel, and hydrodynamic and sediment transport simulations were conducted for Calcasieu Ship Channel and surrounding areas. The target area ranges from the city of Lake Charles as the north end and the Gulf of Mexico as the south end, and includes three connected water systems, Calcaiseu Lake, Prien Lake and Lake Charles. The entire Calcasieu Ship Channel running from north to south is included in the domain along with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in east and west directions. In authors’ previous study, only the area of south portion of the ship channel, Calcasieu Lake and its surrounding wetlands was simulated and studied. This study is a major upgrade to the model, which provides more complete understanding of the flow and sediment transport in the entire area, as well as the interactions among all water systems surrounding the ship channel. There are wetlands (two National Wild Life Refuges, one in the west and one in the east) surrounding Calcaiseu Lake, while there are various of vegetated and non-vegetated areas surrounding Prien Lake and Lake Charles. The standard 2-D depth averaged shallow water solver was utilized for the simulation of the flow phase and a standard Eulerian scalar transport equation was solved for the sediment and salinity phases. In the sediment phase, the sediment deposition and re-suspension effects are included, while in the salinity phase, the precipitation and evaporation are included. A realistic vegetation model was implemented to represent various types of vegetation coverage in the target area, and appropriate friction values were assigned to different non-vegetated areas. Measured and observed vegetation data were utilized. A coastal storm surge flood was simulated, and effects of vegetation on flood reduction and sediment distribution were investigated. The total flooded area, the flood speed, and the distribution of the flooding water and sediments were compared between vegetated and non-vegetated areas to show the differences between different types of surfaces.

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