Izmir Bay, in the Aegean Sea, is divided in an inner, middle and outer bay. The inner bay is significantly affected by pollution from residential and industrial sources due to the long water renewal time (approximately three months). Previous studies have demonstrated that the creation of a circulation channel will enhance the water renewal in the Bay. The tasks of IMDC was initially the numerical modelling of Izmir Bay, including 3D temperature fields and wind-driven circulations and afterwards an efficiency study of the circulation channel and an assessment of dredging plumes during construction.
IMDC has developed a hydrodynamic model for estimating flow recirculation and plume dispersion in Izmir Bay under different seasonal and wind conditions. The model, which covered the region from Ayvaçik area in the North down to Izmir and Chios Island in the South, has been set up in the TELEMAC-3D software. Temperature variations, density coupling, wind forcing, and surface heat fluxes were considered, which resulted in a model with excellent performance regarding water level, flow velocity, vertical temperature stratification in summer and horizontal temperature gradients in winter.
Different scenarios have been executed to optimize the circulation channel design. Among the scenarios simulated were the dredging of a circulation channel at different bottom elevations, the creation of two natural habitat islands from the dredged material and the deepening of the existing navigation channel in the Bay.
In addition, various dredging scenarios were tested to examine the risk of plume dispersal.