This paper presents an investigation of the impacts of a Severn Barrage on the hydro-environment of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary using the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) model with a recently developed Barrage module (EFDC_B). Details are given of a barrage module being implemented into the EFDC model to represent the various hydraulic structures, such as turbines and sluice gates, as deployed along the barrage line. Several cases, both with and without the barrage, have been simulated to investigate the potential changes on the peak water levels, minimum water depths and peak tidal currents arising from a barrage. The impacts of a barrage on the salinity concentration distribution have also been simulated in both 2D and 3D modes. The predicted results showed that the maximum water levels could be significantly reduced, especially downstream of the barrage and for much of the region in the Severn Estuary and that the minimum water depths would be changed so much that there would be 80.5 km2 loss of intertidal habitats due to the sitting of a barrage across the estuary. Likewise, the peak tidal currents would be considerably reduced, and by as much as a half in the middle of the main channel. The predicted salinity concentrations results indicated that at high water, the salinity concentrations would be reduced by 1–2 ppt downstream and upstream of the barrage and salinity concentrations in the region near Beachley would be reduced by up to 5 ppt, and that at low water, salinity concentrations would be reduced by 0.5–1 ppt in the middle of the Bristol Channel and by typically 0.5 ppt and 1 ppt downstream and upstream of the barrage, respectively. The predicted results also indicated that salinity concentrations downstream and upstream of the barrage would be under a stable state with slight oscillations all the time due to the effects of the barrage. A comparison between the salinity concentration distributions predicted by the 2D and 3D models indicated that the two models produced similar salinity distributions, especially in the Severn Estuary and in the region between the middle of the Bristol Channel and the seaward open boundary.
Refinements to the EFDC model for predicting the hydro-environmental impacts of a barrage across the Severn Estuary
Title: Refinements to the EFDC model for predicting the hydro-environmental impacts of a barrage across the Severn Estuary
February 01, 2014
Journal: Renewable Energy
Zhou, J.; Falconer, R.; Lin, B. (2014). Refinements to the EFDC model for predicting the hydro-environmental impacts of a barrage across the Severn Estuary. Renewable Energy, 62, 490-505.