University of Minnesota
University Relations

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

Log out of MyMSI

Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

Main TOC ....... College TOC ....... Next Abstract

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Civil Engineering
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

PI: Heinz G. Stefan, Associate Fellow

Simulations and Analysis of Physical, Chemical, and Biological Processes Affecting Water Quality in Freshwater Streams

These researchers have developed deterministic, unsteady, year-round lake and stream water quality/ecosystem simulation models and are expanding, validating, and applying them. These models simulate a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes and give, for example, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, primary productivity and fish habitat distributions in water systems. Simulations can be made for continuous long-term periods (e.g. 30 years), or for periods of a few days on individual water bodies with high temporal resolution. The researchers are using MSI resources for three projects in this broad area.

Simulations of atmospheric flows over surface topography and vegetation have numerous applications, but the primary goal of the first project is to better describe the atmospheric interactions with sheltered water bodies such as small lakes and sheltered bays. Dynamic sub-filter-scale closure models for LES are important underpinnings of the understanding of flows, atmospheric and otherwise, over roughness and topographic transitions.  

A second project is the development of an integrated deterministic hydro-thermal simulation model for water temperatures in streams including shallow groundwater inflow from watersheds under various stages of land development. This project requires the integration of hydrologic processes with heat transfer processes in many different environmental settings. It also includes the study of the effects of man-made systems, including, for example, roads, parking lots, buildings, and detention ponds, on heat transfer in the aquatic environment. The application of this research is for coldwater (trout) streams that become adversely affected by urban development.

A third project is the extension of the group’s generic model for lake temperatures to specific Minnesota lakes that provide habitats for coldwater fish species. The objective is to identify lakes that can provide coldwater fish habitat in the future under different global-warming scenarios.

Group Members

Timothy Erickson, Graduate Student
William Herb, Research Associate
Corey Markfort, Graduate Student
Qin Qian, Department of Civil Engineering, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
Craig Taylor, Graduate Student