Skip to main content

Use of Elcom and Caedym for Water Quality Simulation in Boulder Basin

Buy Article:

$9.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

The growth of the Las Vegas Metropolitan area may eventually lead to increased wastewater discharges into Boulder Basin of Lake Mead (Figure 1). Boulder Basin has experienced several algal blooms over the last few years. As a result, alternate discharge locations and strategies are being investigated. Thus, studying the water quality in Boulder Basin becomes imminent in order to assist various agencies in making decisions on operations within Boulder Basin.

Due to its extremely irregular shoreline and large surface area, Lake Mead cannot be simulated adequately by one or two-dimensional models. Therefore, ELCOM (Estuary and Lake COmputer Model), an advanced three-dimensional hydrodynamic model coupled with CAEDYM (Computational Aquatic Ecosystem DYnamics Model) was chosen to simulate threedimensional transport and interactions of flow physics, biology, and chemistry in the reservoir.

ELCOM was designed for practical numerical simulation of hydrodynamics and thermodynamics for inland and coastal waters. The code links seamlessly with the CAEDYM model undergoing development at the University of Western Australia Centre for Water Research. The combination of the two codes provides three-dimensional simulation capability for examination of detailed changes in water quality. Figure 2 shows the three-dimensional ELCOM grid used for the Lake Mead simulation.

This work involves the set-up and application of the models for Boulder Basin. Comparisons between measurements and simulation results show that ELCOM can accurately simulate the temporal and spatial variations of physical (e.g., temperature and conductivity), biological (e.g., chlorophyll-a and total organic carbon), and chemical (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) parameters. This study indicates that the hydrodynamic patterns of Boulder Basin are mainly driven by the Colorado River inflow, the Hoover Dam outflow, and meteorological parameters (especially episodes of high wind speed). However, the water quality of Boulder Basin is also affected by the load of nutrients (mainly phosphorus) from the Las Vegas Wash, which carries the treated wastewater effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants, surface runoff, and groundwater discharges into the basin. This presentation will show animations of the flow within the reservoir, as well as “movies” that depict tracer and contaminant concentrations and velocity vectors. For example, Figure 3 shows the model predictions for water velocity vectors at the level of the Hoover Dam Upper Intake (about 150 ft below the water surface) at different times.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2006

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more