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Test Case: Baroclinic Transport in a Reservoir

This is a test of the model's ability to reproduce temperature driven density stratification.

Test Reference

  • Johnson, B. H (1981). “A Review of Numerical Reservoir Hydrodynamic Modeling”, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Technical Report E-81-2, February 1981.


  • Plan view

    Domain 1

  • Side view

Domain 2

Initial Conditions

  • Ambient temperature is 21.4 oC

Boundary Conditions

  • Smagorinski coefficient = 0.0
  • Background kinematic eddy viscosity = 1.0E-09 m2/s
  • Manning's n = 0.005
  • Inflow applied over bottom 0.15 m at upstream end
    • Flowrate of 0.00063 m3/s
    • Temperature of 16.7 oC


  • Observations show 17-18 minutes for the underflow to reach the reservoir wall
  • Model results for temperature at 19 minutes. (red is higher temp, blue is lower temp)

   Reservoir temp

  • Mesh resolution can impact results:

Reservoir results