Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Management of fluid mud in estuaries, bays, and lakes. II: Measurement, modeling, and management

January 1, 2007

Techniques for measurement, modeling, and management of fluid mud are available, but research is needed to improve them. Fluid mud can be difficult to detect, measure, or sample, which has led to new instruments and new ways of using existing instruments. Multifrequency acoustic fathometers sense neither density nor viscosity and are, therefore, unreliable in measuring fluid mud. Nuclear density probes, towed sleds, seismic, and drop probes equipped with density meters offer the potential for accurate measurements. Numerical modeling of fluid mud requires solving governing equations for flow velocity, density, pressure, salinity, water surface, plus sediment submodels. A number of such models exist in one-, two-, and three-dimensional form, but they rely on empirical relationships that require substantial site-specific validation to observations. Management of fluid mud techniques can be classified as those that accomplish: Source control, formation control, and removal. Nautical depth, a fourth category, defines the channel bottom as a specific fluid mud density or alternative parameter as safe for navigation. Source control includes watershed management measures to keep fine sediment out of waterways and in-water measures such as structures and traps. Formation control methods include streamlined channels and structures plus other measures to reduce flocculation and structures that train currents. Removal methods include the traditional dredging and transport of dredged material plus agitation that contributes to formation control and/or nautical depth. Conditioning of fluid mud by dredging and aerating offers the possibility of improved navigability. Two examples—the Atchafalaya Bar Channel and Savannah Harbor—illustrate the use of measurements and management of fluid mud.

Publication Year 2007
Title Management of fluid mud in estuaries, bays, and lakes. II: Measurement, modeling, and management
DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(2007)133:1(23)
Authors W.H. McAnally, A. Teeter, David H. Schoellhamer, C. Friedrichs, D. Hamilton, E. Hayter, P. Shrestha, H. Rodriguez, A. Sheremet, R. Kirby
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Index ID 70033185
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse