Hydrodynamic model of the lower Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2017-2020

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Frequently anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Hydrodynamic model of the lower Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2017-2020
A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the lower Columbia River (LCR) was constructed using the Delft3D Flexible Mesh (DFM) modeling suite to simulate water levels, flow, and seabed stresses for time period of January 1, 2017 to April 20, 2020. This data release describes the construction and validation of the model application and provides input files suitable to run the model on Delft3D Flexible Mesh software version 2021.01.
Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
  1. How might this data set be cited?
    Stevens, Andrew W., Shailesh van de Steeg, Wherry, Susan A., and Wood, Tamara M., 20210409, Hydrodynamic model of the lower Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2017-2020: data release DOI:10.5066/P9ESBJQ0, U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Santa Cruz, California.

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?
    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -125.941041
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -121.963307
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 47.475717
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 44.979972
  3. What does it look like?
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/5ff4b239d34ea5387df03099?name=dfm_bathy_with_detail.png&allowOpen=true (PNG)
    Map of model bathymetry showing A, overall model domain, and B, detail area showing the lower Columbia River. Locations of data sources used for validation of water levels (circles) and discharges (triangles) are shown in B.
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/5ff4b239d34ea5387df03099?name=dfm_boundaries.png&allowOpen=true (PNG)
    Time series of A, water levels and non-tidal residual water levels applied to the oceanic boundary and, B, time series of river discharges applied to the fluvial boundaries of the lower Columbia River model.
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/5ff4b239d34ea5387df03099?name=cr_fm_wl_q_target.png&allowOpen=true (PNG)
    Target diagram showing bulk statistics describing comparisons between modeled and measured A, water levels, and B, discharge computed between January 1, 2017, and April 20, 2020.
    https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/file/get/5ff4b239d34ea5387df03099?name=cr_fm_rkm_ttide_longterm.png&allowOpen=true (PNG)
    Comparison of modeled and measured tidal propagation showing A, map of observation locations, B, amplitudes, and C, phases of modeled (lines) and measured (markers) M2, K1, and O1 tidal constituents between the river mouth and 200 km upstream. Along channel distances at 50-km intervals are denoted in A.
  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?
    Beginning_Date: 01-Jan-2017
    Ending_Date: 01-Apr-2020
    ground condition at time data were collected
  5. What is the general form of this data set?
    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: text
  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?
    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?
      This is a Point data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):
      • Point (35626)
    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?
      Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: Universal Transverse Mercator
      UTM_Zone_Number: 10
      Scale_Factor_at_Central_Meridian: 0.9996
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -123.0
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 0.0
      False_Easting: 500000.0
      False_Northing: 0.0
      Planar coordinates are encoded using row and column
      Abscissae (x-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 78
      Ordinates (y-coordinates) are specified to the nearest 38
      Planar coordinates are specified in Meter
      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1983.
      The ellipsoid used is GRS_1980.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 6378137.0.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/298.257222101.
      Altitude_Datum_Name: North American Vertical Datum of 1988
      Altitude_Resolution: 0.01
      Altitude_Distance_Units: meters
      Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?
    Compressed .zip archive contains files of various types and formats
    See Deltares (2020) for descriptions of the formats and entity information for files contained in the .zip archive.

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)
    • Andrew W. Stevens
    • Shailesh van de Steeg
    • Susan A. Wherry
    • Tamara M. Wood
  2. Who also contributed to the data set?
  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?
    PCMSC Science Data Coordinator
    U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
    2885 Mission Street
    Santa Cruz, CA

    831-427-4747 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

The hydrodynamic model was constructed to investigate tidal propagation and circulation of the lower Columbia River.

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?
  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?
    Date: 02-Jul-2020 (process 1 of 3)
    A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the lower Columbia River (LCR) constructed using the Delft3D Flexible Mesh (DFM) modeling suite (Deltares, 2020) was used to simulate water levels, flow, and seabed stresses between January 1, 2017 and April 20, 2020. The model application was adapted from van der Steeg (2016) and Wherry and others (2019). The model domain extends between the Bonneville Dam at its upstream limit to about 130 km offshore of the river mouth in the Pacific Ocean. Ten equally spaced vertical sigma layers were used to simulate 3D effects within the model domain. A high resolution digital elevation model constructed from recent topographic lidar and bathymetry data was used for the model bathymetry (http://www.estuarypartnership.org/lower-columbia-digital-terrain-model). Offshore bathymetry was derived from the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans, 2018). Over 250 levees, stone jetties, and pile dikes were prescribed as sub-grid weirs with 0 transmission throughout the model domain. Roughness in the model was prescribed using a Chezy value of 65 for the ocean and lower estuary and a value of 70 farther upstream. Oceanic boundaries of the LCR model were forced using astronomic tidal constituents derived from the satellite-derived FES 2012 global tide model (Lyard and others, 2006). A vertical offset of 1.21 m (positive up) was applied at the oceanic boundary to account for the difference between local mean sea level and NAVD88 based on the tidal datum at nearby Toke Point, WA (NOAA station 9440910). Oceanic subtidal variations were imposed at the oceanic open boundary as a time-varying correction to the astronomic tides. The subtidal time-series was derived from observations of water levels at NOAA stations 9440910 (Toke Point, WA) and 9437540 (Garibaldi, OR). Water level time series from the two stations were low-pass filtered with a 66-hr cutoff to remove fluctuations at tidal frequencies. The low pass filtered values from both stations were highly correlated and an average for the two stations was applied to the oceanic model boundaries. Upstream, fluvial discharges from the main stem Columbia River, Cowlitz, Lewis, Willamette, and Sandy Rivers were prescribed based on observations made at various USGS gauge stations. The oceanic and fluvial boundaries were prescribed constant salinity values of 33 and 0 PSU, respectively. The effects of variations of temperature, wind, and waves on circulation and enhanced bed stresses were neglected in the present model application.
    Date: 17-Aug-2020 (process 2 of 3)
    Simulated water levels and discharges were compared against time-series measurements of observed water levels from locations throughout the study area. All water level observations were converted to a common vertical datum (NAVD88) and water level and discharge data were interpolated in time from the native measurement interval (between 6 and 15 minutes depending on site) to the 10-minute output interval that was available for model simulations. Bulk error metrics describing the comparisons between model and observations over the entire simulation time frame (January 2017 to April 2020) were calculated following Jolliff and others (2009). Total root-mean-square error (RMSE) was less than 20 cm for water levels at all of the measurement sites. However, peak water levels were underestimated by as much as 0.75 m during high river discharge at Vancouver despite slightly overestimating total discharge at that location.
    Date: 05-Jan-2021 (process 3 of 3)
    Harmonic tidal analysis on the simulated and observed water levels (Pawlowicz and others, 2002) over the analysis time frame was performed to validate model predictions of tidal propagation into the estuary and tidal river. The model accurately predicts the initial amplification of the M2 tidal constituent between the river mouth and Astoria tide gauge and subsequent decay farther upstream. The predicted phase of the M2 tidal constituent initially agrees well with observed values, but the simulated tidal wave is slower than observed upstream of the Wauna tide gauge. Further investigation is needed to determine the cause of the discrepancy and improve model predictions. Other major tidal constituents including K1, O1, and N2 were adequately characterized in the model simulation.
  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?
    Shailesh van der Steeg, 2016, Investigations of tidal hydrodynamics in the lower Columbia River and estuary (Masters thesis): Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.

    Wherry, Susan A., Wood, Tamara M., Moritz, Hans R., and Duffy, Keith B., 2019, Assessment of Columbia and Willamette River flood stage on the Columbia Corridor Levee System at Portland, Oregon, in a future climate: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5161, Reston, Virginia.

    Online Links:

    Lyard, Florent, Lefevre, Fabien, Letellier, Thierry, and Francis, Oliver, 2006, Modelling the global ocean tides: modern insights from FES2004: Ocean Dynamics, New York, New York.

    Online Links:

    General bathymetric chart of the oceans, 2018, Gridded bathymetry data: International Hydrographic Organization and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission database, Monaco.

    Online Links:

    Jolliff, Jason K., Kindle, John C., Shulman, Igor, Penta, Bradley, Friedrichs, Marjorie A.M., Helber, Robert, and Arnone, Robert A., 2009, Summary diagrams for coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem model skill assessment: Journal of Marine Systems, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Online Links:

    Pawlowicz, Rich, Beardsley, Bob, and Lentz, Steve, 2002, Classical tidal harmonic analysis including error estimates in MATLAB using T_TIDE: Computers and Geosciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Online Links:

    Deltares, 2020, D-Flow Flexible Mesh User Manual (version 0.9.1): Deltares, Delft, Netherlands.

    Online Links:

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?
    Model outputs were compared to observed water levels and discharges to assess the accuracy of simulated results as described in the process steps below.
  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?
    No formal positional accuracy tests were conducted.
  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?
    No formal positional accuracy tests were conducted.
  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?
    Dataset is considered complete for the information presented, as described in the abstract. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?
    All data falls within expected ranges.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
Access_Constraints: none
USGS-authored or produced data and information are in the public domain from the U.S. Government and are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize and acknowledge the U.S. Geological Survey as the originator(s) of the dataset and in products derived from these data. This information is not intended for navigational purposes.
  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)
    U.S. Geological Survey - Science Base
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Denver Federal Center, Building 810, Mail Stop 302
    Denver, CO

    1-888-275-8747 (voice)
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set? Model input files (lcr_dmf_input.zip) compatible with windows executable of Delft3D Flexible Mesh version 2021.01 are provided in the zip archive "lcr_dfm_input.zip". Browse graphics showing the model bathymetry and validation are also provided along with associated metadata.
  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?
    Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.
  4. How can I download or order the data?

Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 09-Apr-2021
Metadata author:
PCMSC Science Data Coordinator
U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
2885 Mission St.
Santa Cruz, CA

831-427-4747 (voice)
Metadata standard:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

This page is <https://cmgds.marine.usgs.gov/catalog/pcmsc/DataReleases/ScienceBase/DR_P9ESBJQ0/lcr_dfm_metadata.faq.html>
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