Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

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Test Case34

Lake Signell

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This case provides a fundamental check of the ability of a model to represent 1) wind driven transport in a closed basin, 2) wave-current influences on bottom friction and sediment resuspension, 3) flux of two grain sizes from the bed, and 4) resuspension, transport, and deposition of suspended-sediment. Lake Signell derives its name from the paper by Signell et al. (1990) Journal of Geophysical Research 95(C6): 9671-9673.

Figure showing the layout of test case 3, the hypothetical Lake Signell


The domain is an enclosed basin, rectangular in plan view, with a sloping bottom.
Length (east-west) l = 50,000 m
Width (north-south) w =10,000 m
Depth h = 18 m at the northern end, decreasing linearly to 2 m at the southern end

Bottom Sediment

Grain size:
Size (D50) = 0.1 mm (fine sand)  
Density ρs = 2650 kg/m³  
Settling velocity = 0.1 mm/s  
Critical shear stress τc = 0.05 N/m²  
Thickness = 0.005 m  
Erosion rate = 5 e-5 kg/m² /s  


No Coriolis
No heating/cooling

Wind speed = 13 m/s (tau = 0.25 Pa), blowing along the lake to the east
RMS wave height = 0.5 m
Period = 5 seconds
Direction: propagating in wind direction

Initial Conditions

u = 0 m³ /s
Salinity = 0
T = 20° C

Boundary Conditions

North, south, east, and west sides = walls with no fluxes, no friction
Bottom roughness zo = 0.015 m in absence of waves
Surface roughness zos = 0.02 m
Sediment flux calculated by model
Surface = free surface, no fluxes of heat or salt (momentum fluxes associated with wind)

Output at Steady State (ASCII files suitable for plotting)

Velocity field at profile at x = 40,000 m
Bed thickness

Physical Constants

Gravitational acceleration g = 9.81 m/s²
Von Karman's constant κ = 0.41
Dynamic viscosity (and minimum diffusivity) ν = 1e-6 m² /s


If a model incorporates physical constants that differ from these, and/or automatically calculates some values specified here, please specify the values used.


Solution to Test Case 3: Lake Signell

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These pages are for communication among a group of researchers studying experimental methods of modeling and visualizing natural systems using digital (numerical) techniques. The methods and models discussed are in preliminary, developmental, stages and may be incorrect. The pages will be changed or removed without warning. The U.S. Geological Survey makes no representation as to the accuracy, correctness, or utility of any data, model, model results, or technique associated with these pages.

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This page last modified on Monday, 05-Dec-2016 16:31:20 EST