Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019TN248B

From the plot to the catchment scale: Towards the next generation of hydrodynamics - sediment transport models

Institute: Tennessee
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $2,550

Principal Investigators: Christos P. Giannopoulos

Abstract: The overarching goal of this research is to assess the redistribution of mobilized soil through the drainage network of the watershed under a non-stationary climate and different management regimes. To do so, I am proposing a next-generation transport model that can resolve the hydrodynamics and sediment transport moving from the plot to the catchment scale. This model would address one of the biggest concerns of existing models, which is that they do not represent well the underlying processes at the floodplain-gully domain. The transport model will be incorporated into a coupled upland-instream modeling framework (Enhanced WEPP-3ST1D) for resolving gully erosion. It will first determine the gully initiation location and then resolve the advective and diffusive headcut retreat, gully bank failure due to fluvial and mass failure, and bed incision due to excess bed shear stress. In order to complete this model, I am requesting funding for trips to Oregon State University and Utah State University for one-week workshops. The trip to Oregon will be used to learn how to resolve floodplain topography and gully cross-sectional geometry in high detail. The trip to Utah will be to learn to develop and incorporate a geospatial tool and gully routine into the proposed modeling framework. The proposed model is a tool that can assess the relative effectiveness of BMPs regarding on-site and off-site impacts of anthropogenic activities. The proposed hydrodynamics and sediment transport model can be utilized as a decision-making tool to inform water management, by replacing current models with limited reliability and applicability (e.g., empirically-based models).