Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
19 Nov 2008
 | 19 Nov 2008

Improving the parameterisation of horizontal density gradient in one-dimensional water column models for estuarine circulation

S. Blaise and E. Deleersnijder

Abstract. A new parameterisation of horizontal density gradient for a one-dimensional water column estuarine model, inspired by the first-order finite-difference upwind scheme, is presented. This parameterisation prevents stratification from growing indefinitely, a deficiency usually referred to as "runaway stratification". It is seen that, using this upwind-like parameterisation, the salinity must remain comprised between upper and lower bounds set a priori and that any initial over- or under-shooting is progressively eliminated. Simulations of idealised and realistic estuarine regimes indicate that the new parameterisation lead to results that are devoid of the runaway stratification phenomenon, as opposed to previously used models.