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A wetting and drying scheme for ROMS

August 1, 2013

The processes of wetting and drying have many important physical and biological impacts on shallow water systems. Inundation and dewatering effects on coastal mud flats and beaches occur on various time scales ranging from storm surge, periodic rise and fall of the tide, to infragravity wave motions. To correctly simulate these physical processes with a numerical model requires the capability of the computational cells to become inundated and dewatered. In this paper, we describe a method for wetting and drying based on an approach consistent with a cell-face blocking algorithm. The method allows water to always flow into any cell, but prevents outflow from a cell when the total depth in that cell is less than a user defined critical value. We describe the method, the implementation into the three-dimensional Regional Oceanographic Modeling System (ROMS), and exhibit the new capability under three scenarios: an analytical expression for shallow water flows, a dam break test case, and a realistic application to part of a wetland area along the Georgia Coast, USA.