ME Graduate Seminar - Professor Marcela Politano

Thursday, February 13, 2020, 3:30pm to 4:20pm
Seamans Center, 3505
103 South Capitol Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

Presentation Title: Physically-Based Modeling for Environmental Flows

ABSTRACT: Physically-based modeling builds on fundamental physical laws such as conservation of mass, momentum and energy. The main advantages of these models are that they provide insight into the physical processes, while the model parameters are commonly measurable. The models can thus be used for a wide range of applications, sometimes beyond the range of calibration. They are also useful for describing management outcomes related to ecological resources. Applications of physically-based numerical models for environmental flows include computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to predict dissolved gases and temperature in lakes and reservoirs, sediment transport in reservoirs and near water intakes, bioacoustic bubble–strobe light fish barriers, air plume dispersion, among others. The development of faster computers has also allowed use physically-based models to predict overland and subsurface flows and pollutant transport in large-scale watersheds.

Three physically-based models will be described in this presentation: 1) a computational tool to predict total dissolved gas (TDG) distribution and understand the main mechanisms resulting in elevated TDG production downstream of hydropower dams. Model validation and results downstream of McNary Dam will be presented and discussed, 2) a Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence (BAFF) model implemented in the open-source code OpenFOAM. According to the model, design and operation of the BAFF are important for fish deterrence into the Georgiana Slough in the Sacramento River and 3) a distributed surface-subsurface hydrological model developed to evaluate the effects of flood mitigation projects in Iowa. Challenges of the use of the model to evaluate changes in the outlet structure of the Iowa Great Lakes will be discussed.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact ME Department in advance at 319-335-5939 or