China Ocean Engineering

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 575–590 | Cite as

A modeling study on saltwater intrusion to western four watercourses in the Pearl River estuary

  • Xiang-ju Cheng (程香菊)
  • Wei Zhan (詹 威)
  • Zhen-ren Guo (郭振仁)
  • Li-rong Yuan (袁丽蓉)


Saltwater intrusion has been serious in the Pearl River estuary in recent years. For better understanding and analysis of the saltwater movement to the estuary, the three-dimensional Finite-Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM) is made to simulate the salinity intrusion to the four western watercourses in the Pearl River estuary under three semilunar conditions. With the measured and simulated Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and the mean absolute percentage error of water level and salinity at multiple sites, the results show that the numerical water levels, salinity and flow velocities are in agreement with the measured data. It is acceptable and feasible to apply the FVCOM to simulate the salt water intrusion in the western four watercourses of the Pearl River. With the numerical data, the time and spatial movement patterns of saltwater intrusion along the Modao watercourse are analyzed. The salinity contour reaches its peak generally during 3∼5 days before the spring tide. The salinity stratification is more obvious in the period of ebb tide than that in the rising tide whether in the spring or neap tides. Salt fluxes reflect changes of salt into the estuary, and the change rules are close to the rules of salinity intrusion.

Key words

FVCOM saltwater intrusion estuary simulation rules 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Ocean Engineering Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiang-ju Cheng (程香菊)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Zhan (詹 威)
    • 2
  • Zhen-ren Guo (郭振仁)
    • 3
  • Li-rong Yuan (袁丽蓉)
    • 2
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Subtropical Architecture ScienceSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.South China Institute of Environmental SciencesMEPGuangzhouChina

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