Coastal ocean hydrodynamic models are used to simulate water surface elevations and circulation in oceans, lakes, estuaries, rivers and floodplains. One such model is ADCIRC (ADvanced CIRCulation), which was originally developed more than 15 years ago and which is used for a variety of purposes, including naval fleet operations, storm surge predictions, and larvae transport. ADCIRC assumed fixed land boundaries until a wetting and drying algorithm was implemented in 1995. However, this algorithm had two components that limited the performance of the model. First, nodes were required to remain “wet” or “dry” for a user-specified number of time steps before changing states. This component became restrictive in relatively flat regions, such as a flood plain, where it caused oscillations and slowed the propagation of flood waves. Second, in regions with steep bathymetry, mass balance problems and instabilities would occur when a thin film of water was allowed to flow uninterrupted. Changes based on a more physically-accurate description of the wetting and drying process were made recently to address these two problems. This paper describes the wetting and drying algorithm and those changes, and it applies the improved algorithm to an idealized domain that was designed specifically to test the two problem areas. The improved algorithm provides better stability and mass balance properties.
JC Dietrich, RL Kolar, JJ Westerink (2006). “Refinements in Continuous Galerkin Wetting and Drying Algorithms.” Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Estuarine and Coastal Modeling, 2006, 637-656.