Original paper

Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 339-351

A model of sand transport in Treporti channel: northern Venice lagoon

  • Georg UmgiesserAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, ISMAR-CNR Email author 
  • , Francesca De PascalisAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, ISMAR-CNR
  • , Christian FerrarinAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, ISMAR-CNR
  • , Carl L. AmosAffiliated withSouthampton Oceanography Centre, SOC, Empress Dock

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Abstract

The origin of the sands in the Venice lagoon has been the subject of an extensive field survey in parallel with numerical modelling. Four transects along Treporti and Burano canals were conducted from which 33 bottom sediment samples were collected. These samples were analysed for grain size and sorting to examine any trends in the granulometry of these sediments that might shed light on transport paths. The modelling study consists of three parts: the sediment transport model sedtrans96 was used with a finite-element hydrodynamic model (Shyfem) and an empirical wave model (US Army Corps of Engineering) to simulate sand transport in the Treporti canal. A type of link box model was created where finite elements of the hydrodynamic model have been combined to macro-boxes on which the water and sediment flux over the sections, and a mass balance has been computed. Several grain size classes were simulated; the distributions before and after the simulation were examined. Idealised wind and tidal values were initially used to force 12 h simulations to test the sediment transport sensitivity. Finally, a full-year simulation (1987) has been carried out using measured tidal and wind data. Only a part of Venice lagoon was covered by the simulation: a major channel (Treporti) running from Lido inlet towards the northern lagoon. The total sand transport through all of the sections was computed for 1 year. Sediment mass balance was determined, and the resulting trends of erosion and deposition were computed. There were no trends in the median grain diameter and sorting of bottom samples from the Treporti canal; all sands were fine (120 μm, one outlier of 300 μm was removed). The absence of a trend in grain size suggests that there is no significant import of sand to the lagoon through the Lido inlet. The results from the simulations seem therefore to confirm the hypothesis of reworking of sand within the lagoon. The computed erosion is some centimeters per year diagnostic of channel scouring and enlargement with time. The Treporti canal is subject to strong current velocities of around 1 m/s, which hold fine sand in suspension and thus prevent sedimentation.

Keywords

Venice lagoon sedtrans96 Sediment transport modelling Finite elements