TUAS Port Dredge Plume Modelling

Numerical modelling for dredge plume hindcast and forecasting at TTP1 land reclamation site, Singapore

The aim of the project is to provide the tools required to implement Pro-Active Adaptive Management (PAM) of turbidity during dredging works. 

Based on a calibrated 3D hydrodynamic model developed in the TELEMAC modelling suite, the sediment transport features are added to accommodate plume dispersion simulations. An in-house sediment spill rate toolbox is used to determine dredger sediment releases, distributed realistically in space and time, according to real-time dredging activity and productions of the different mobilised equipment. Additionally, case studies of 3D plume hindcast simulations are included, based on which a sensitivity analysis is executed showing the sensitivity of plume dispersion results on wind forcing. Based on the hindcast cases, several management scenarios are simulated, in order to optimise operations to minimise plume impact on environmental receptors. 

Finally, the model was coupled to a forecasting system to forecast the dispersion of sediment plumes due to dredging works planning of next 5 days. The system provides a warning in case dredge plume forecasts show turbidity thresholds will be exceeded. In this way, dredging works planning can be adapted to avoid exceedances.

Satellite image with the visible plume dispersion  
Hindcast scenario 1 results for a time step with similar plume as seen in satellite image


  • Start date: 2016
  • Completion date: 2017