Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. J. Alex McCorquodale


A 3-D numerical model of the Head of Passes and Bird’s Foot Delta of the Mississippi River- was developed. The model was based on Delft3D and simulates the hydrodynamics and salinity transport for Head of Passes area from RM 6.5 to Gulf of Mexico. The model was calibrated, validated, and used to predict the response of the river to certain stimuli, such as - channel closures, channel modifications and diversions. The model includes West Bay, Southwest Pass, South Pass, Pass-A-Loutre and Main Pass. Three basic cases were developed: existing conditions, closure of Southwest Pass with a levee of 1.5m with dredging of Pass-A-Loutre to 13.7 meter depth, and closure of Southwest Pass and South Pass with dredging of Pass-A-Loutre to 13.7 meter (45 ft) depth. Salinity has been added to the model. It has been proved that salinity intrusion has a significant impact on the model instantaneous discharge. For all passes except Southwest Pass instantaneous discharge decreases almost in half. Closure of Southwest Pass and dredging of Pass-A-Loutre leads to changes in flow speed and distribution. As a result Pass-A-Loutre becomes a main River channel.


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