Three-dimensional numerical simulations on wind- and tide-induced currents: The case of Augusta Harbour (Italy)
The hydrodynamic circulation in the coastal area of the Augusta Bay (Italy), located in the eastern part of Sicily, is analysed. Due to the heavy contamination generated by the several chemical and petrochemical industries active in the zone, the harbour was declared a Contaminated Site of National Interest. To mitigate the risks connected with the industrial activities located near the harbour, it is important to analyse the hydrodynamic circulation in the coastal area. To perform such analysis, a parallel 3D numerical model is used to solve the Reynolds-averaged momentum and mass balance, employing the k-ε turbulence model for the Reynolds stresses. The numerical model is parallelized using the programing technology - Message Passing Interface (MPI) and applying the domain decomposition procedure.The Augusta Bay circulation is mainly due to the relative contribution of the wind force acting over the free surface and the tidal motion through the mouths. Due to the geometric complexity of the domain and the presence of several piers along the coast, a curvilinear boundary-fitted computational grid was used, where cells corresponding to land areas or to wharfs were excluded from the computation. Comparisons between numerical results and field measurements were performed. Three different simulations were performed to selectively isolate the effect of each force, wind and tide, acting in the considered domain. The current in the basin was successfully estimated on the basis of the numerical results, demonstrating the specific role of wind and tidal oscillation in the hydrodynamic circulation inside the harbour.