Hydrodynamic flow modeling of Barton Springs Pool

Tomasek, Abigail A
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Barton Springs Pool (BSP) is an important ecological and recreational resource to the City of Austin (CoA). Due to sediment accumulation, excessive algal growth, and concern for water velocities through salamander habitat, improving the flow regime of BSP was identified as an important focus for future infrastructure development in Barton Springs Pool. The CoA commissioned this project to develop and test a hydrodynamic model to provide a basis for understanding the flow dynamics of BSP, and to aid in future infrastructure developments in BSP. This phase of the project included the collection of bathymetric and velocity data, creating a hydrodynamic model of BSP that dynamically represents space-time varying 3D velocities, and testing the model using the default settings and an adjustment of the outlet coefficients. The model was run with three targeted inflow scenarios to determine both how the model responds with varying inflows, and to provide a general idea of how flow in BSP is affected by the magnitude of the inflow. The model used was the Fine Resolution Environmental Hydrodynamic Model that solves the 3D non-hydrostatic Navier-Stokes equations in a split hydrostatic/non-hydrostatic approach. The model was run using the default settings and the outputs were compared to available data. Results from these initial runs showed that further calibration is necessary. Model runs under the targeted inflow scenarios showed that as inflow increases, velocities in the upstream portion of BSP increase correspondingly, but this is not reflected in the downstream portion of BSP.