Date of Award

Spring 1976

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Ronald E. Johnson

Committee Member

Chester E. Grosch

Committee Member

Carvel Blair

Committee Member

John C. Ludwick

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35S57


A prediction technique for tidal heights and currents in the Lafayette River of Norfolk, Virginia has been formulated and tested by the implementation of a two-dimensional numerical model employing the Navier-Stokes momentum equations and conservation of mass. The model operates on a spatially-fixed rectangular grid system by utilizing a multi-operation finite difference scheme which employs implicit and explicit solutions to the aforementioned equations. Forces due to bottom friction and Coriolis are taken into account. The only open boundary considered in the model is the river mouth, across which tidal height is specified temporally. Collected tidal height and current data at stations spanning the river during four separate tidal cycles in the summer of 1975 were used to determine the predictive capability of the model. Forced oscillation experiments and an analysis of fieldwork techniques were performed to assess the accuracy of the model and data collection, respectively.

The predictive capability of the model for the four days considered snowed tidal heights predicted to within ±0.7 feet in all cases, and to within ±0.2 feet for the average case, as compared to the average tidal range at the mouth of the river of 2.6 feet. Velocity magnitudes are predicted to within ±0.5 feet per second in all cases, and to within ±0.2 feet per second on the average, as compared to the current maximum of the river of 1.1 feet per second. Prediction of velocity directions were also compared in order to verify more fully the accuracy of the model. The predicted directions differed from those observed by 15° on the average.

The model program, written in FORTRAN, was executed by the DEC 10 Computer System of Old Dominion University.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).



Included in

Oceanography Commons