Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

McCorquodale, John A.

Second Advisor

LaMotta, Enrique

Third Advisor

Cothren, Gianna


Over the last several decades, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin has been impacted by the presence of high levels of Fecal Coliform bacteria following periods of rainfall. This is a potential problem for recreational uses of the area. In 2003 a field sampling study was initiated in the north shore area of the Lake at the mouth of the Tchefuncte River. The objectives were to determine the water quality in the area and to simulate the plume patterns from the Tchefuncte River. Twenty eight stations at the mouth of the Tchefuncte River, and a station at the Madisonville Bridge were selected for study on the basis of proximity to the mouth of the River. Fecal coliform counts were found to be “wet” weather-dependent at the mouth of the River and unsuitable for primary contact recreation for at least two to three days following a rain event. A 3-D finite volume hydrodynamics model (A coupled Hydrodynamical-Ecological Model for Regional and Shelf Seas – COHERENS) and the TECPLOT™ equation feature were used for the prediction of contaminant plumes from the Tchefuncte River into the Lake Pontchartrain. The field data were used to validate the model. The upper limits predicted by the model and those measured in the field were in good agreement. The model used river flow and tidal forcing without wind shear. The model verified that that the wet weather effect lasted for two to three-day after a high storm water discharges at the mouth of the river.


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