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The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center has published the report/note described and linked below. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Houston Ship Channel Expansion Channel Improvement Project (ECIP) Numerical Modeling Report
Jennifer McAlpin, Jared McKnight, and Cassandra Ross
The Houston Ship Channel is one of the busiest deep-draft navigation channels in the United States and must be able to accommodate larger vessel dimensions over time. The U.S. Army Engineer District, Galveston (SWG), requested the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, perform hydrodynamic and sediment modeling of proposed modifications along the Houston Ship Channel from its connection to the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Houston. The modeling results are necessary to provide data for salinity and sediment transport analysis as well as ship simulation studies. SWG provided a project alternative that includes channel widening, deepening, and bend easing. The model is run for present year zero (2029) and future year 50 (2079) with and without project. The model shows that the salinity does not vary greatly with project. Changes to salinity are 2 parts per thousand or less. The tidal prism increases by less than 2% when the project is included, and the tidal amplitudes increase by no more than 0.01 meter. The residual velocity vectors do vary in and around areas where project modifications are made - along the Houston Ship Channel, Bayport Channel, and Barbours Cut Channel. The model also indicates an increase in the shoaling along the ship channel when compared to the without project results, the largest increases being in the Bayport channel and flare.
136 pgs / 22 mb
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Release no. 19-022