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Simulation of Sediment Transport Processes in Ship Berthing Areas of Mitchell Bay, Texas
C. Kirk Ziegler, Deborah Edwards, Ricardo Petroni, Daleel Nangju, Matt Henderson, Sara J. Morey, Bill Hennessey and Katherine McNamara

Mitchell Bay is located in Texas and is adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) and the ExxonMobil Refinery and Supply (EMRS) Company’s Baytown Refinery. Within the bay is an active port facility currently experiencing significant sedimentation (shoaling) in the ship berthing areas. The modeling framework used in this study consisted of three models that were linked together: 1) hydrodynamic model; 2) propwash model; and 3) sediment transport model. Successful calibration and validation of the linked modeling framework demonstrated that it can be used as a management tool to evaluate the impacts on sediment transport due to changes in geometry or bathymetry within Mitchell Bay. A sensitivity analysis produced lower- and upper-bound parameter sets that will be used to conduct simulations to provide an envelope of model predictions around the best-estimate (calibration-based parameter set) results. This approach will help to quantify the uncertainty associated with model predictions and, ultimately, provide increased confidence in the reliability of any conclusions that are derived from using the Mitchell Bay sediment transport model as a management tool.

Keywords: Mitchell Bay, sediment transport model, propwash resuspension

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