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Conference Proceeding

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Hydrology -- Oregon -- Willamette River, Water quality -- Oregon -- Williamette River, Streamflow -- Oregon -- Willamette River Watershed, Hydrologic models, Hydrodynamics -- Mathematical models, CE-QUAL-W2 (Computer program)


A hydrodynamic and water quality model of the Lower Willamette River was developed to evaluate management alternatives designed to improve water quality. The Lower Willamette River is located in Oregon and drains a watershed covering 11500 square miles consisting of forested, agricultural, and urban lands. Inflows include treated municipal wastes and industrial effluents along with non-point sources from agricultural, silvicultural and urbanized land. The model was designed to address temperature, dissolved oxygen, algae, pH and bacteria concerns. The Corps of Engineers two-dimensional, laterally averaged, hydrodynamic and water quality model CE-QUAL-W2, Version 3 was applied. CE-QUAL-W2 consists of directly coupled hydrodynamic and water quality transport models and simulates parameters such as temperature, algae concentration, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH, nutrient concentrations and residence time. The model domain covers a total of about 126 river miles, including the Lower Willamette River from its intersection with the Columbia River upstream to Canby Ferry (RM 35.0) and the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam (RM 144.5) to Beaver Army Terminal (River Mile 53.8). Modeling of the Columbia River was necessary to simulate tidal fluctuations and influxes of Columbia River water into the Lower Willamette. Major tributaries and major NPDES point sources were point inflows to the system model. The ability to model multiple water bodies was a feature of CE-QUAL-W2 Version 3 and allows the simulation of river, reservoir or estuary sections with varying bottom slopes separated by dams and other hydraulic structures. The model was calibrated for the summers of 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, and 1999. Hydrodynamics were calibrated first followed by temperature and water quality. Root mean square error of model water level predictions was generally less than 0.05 m. Because of the short residence time within the model domain, the development of accurate boundary conditions was essential for good model calibration.


Author's version of a paper presented to the 2nd Federal InterAgency Hydrologic Modeling Conference, Las Vegas, July 28-Aug 1, 2002, and subsequently published in its proceedings.

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