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Assignment: Modelling of Lake Titicaca using MOHID Studio

Module 11: Modelling River Systems and Lakes

Megh Raj K C; Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development, IHE, Delft (Student No: 1049032)

Introduction and general setup of the simulation

This report is an outcome of an assignment done using the modelling software MOHID Studio
to simulate the hydrodynamics, properties and the pollutant transport in Lake Titicaca.
A model was set up in MIOHID Studio using the provided files. In doing so, first of all a new
workspace was created in MOHID Studio and the existing project for assignment was
imported. Further steps in setting up the model are as follows:

 The bathymetry file “Titicaca_Bathymetry.dat” was assigned to the simulation.

 Vertical geometry was defined as 6 unequally spaced sigma layers with widths (from
bottom to surface) as: 30%, 20%, 15%, 15%, 10%, 10%
 A surface wind velocity and wind stress variable in time and constant in space was
imposed using the file “LakeTiticacaWind.dat”
 Temperature and salinity was defined in “water properties” setting an initial and
boundary constant salinity of 0.01 and an initial stratified temperature by layers with
values (from bottom to surface): 10.0 ºC, 11.0 ºC, 12.5 ºC, 14.0 ºC, 17.0 ºC, 18.0 ºC
 A Lagrangian module was activated for that simulation creating a Lagrangian discharge
at coordinates -69.42 E; -15.97 N, at layer 5 (DEPTH_CELLS), with constant water flow
of 0.3 m3/s and discharging the property “faecal coliforms” with a concentration of
10000 MPN/100ml, a volume increase rate (TVOL200) of 14400 seconds and a decay
rate (T90) of 28800 seconds.
 Turbulent viscosity was set as constant with a horizontal value of 10.0 m2/s and a
vertical value of 0.01 m2/s.
 HDF outputs were set every hour of the simulation for hydrodynamic, water
properties and Lagrangian.
 Time series outputs for hydrodynamic and temperature were set using the
 The simulation run was set from 01/08/2019 00:00 to 03/08/2019 00:00 with a time
step of 120 seconds.

Point 67_49

Point 46_11
Point 42_77

Discharging point for faecal coliforms Point 13_73

Figure 1: Map view of Lake Titicaca with points for study, location for coliform source and initial
direction of wind forcing

Time Series Results for Velocity Modulus

The velocity modulus has been plotted for the top layer and bottom layer at four different
locations in the lake as shown in figure 1. It can be observed that during the start of the
simulation (at t=0), the velocities are zero in both the top and bottom layers. Considering the
whole simulation period, the velocity modulus in the top layer is greater than the bottom
layer (most of the time). This is due to the fact that there is friction between the bed surface
of the lake and bottom layer of the water making the bottom layer comparatively slower.
However, top surface is free to move under the forces acting on it and thus has a higher
velocity modulus. Another reason might be that the top surface is directly under the influence
of the wind stress. The wind force is transmitted to the bottom layer through successive
intermediate layers.
Similarly it can also be seen that the points 13_73 and 46_11 have relatively lower velocities
on the top layer than the points 67_49 and 42_77. This might be because the former two
points are near the bank which have shallow water with higher influence of bed friction and
influence of water coming back from the banks. The latter two points are in relatively deeper
part with only the wind direction having an influence in their velocities. As long as the wind is
in only one direction they will have continuously rising velocities. However the plot also shows
that sometimes the top layer velocity goes below the bottom layer velocity. This might be due
to the change in the direction of the wind forcing.

Figure 2: Velocity modulus of top and bottom layer at point 13_73

Figure 3: Velocity modulus of top and bottom layer at point 42_77

Figure 4: Velocity modulus of top and bottom layer at point 46_11

Figure 5: Velocity modulus of top and bottom layer at point 67_49

Velocity vector field and the temperature field for the surface layer and faecal coliform
The figures below show the maps of velocity vector field and temperature field for the surface
layer along with the faecal coliform plume. The figures show how they change/evolve with
time. The velocity is represented by arrows. The arrow head shows the velocity direction and
the size of the arrow represents the magnitude of the velocity. The temperature is
represented by a colour ramp. Initially the temperature of the surface layer was set at 180C
as shown in the map with maroon red colour. Similarly the faecal coliform is also shown with
different colour representing different levels of concentration. The simulation is run from
01/08/2019 00:00 to 03/08/2019 00:00. Maps are plotted at an interval of 4 hours for the
entire simulation period.
Before the start of the simulation the surface layer has a temperature of 180c everywhere in
the lake and coliform is still not present in the water. As the simulation is started and the wind
stress is applied the water layers start to attain certain velocity. Also due to the change in the
magnitude and direction of the applied wind forcing, the velocity in the lake also changes
resulting in the formation of eddies. This creates a rapid exchange of heat between the layers
due to the movement of water itself.
Cooling process is dominant at the outer banks of the lake. This is because the layers are thin
and exchange becomes faster. Another reason is the recirculation currents emerging out at
the banks due to which the relatively cold water at the bottom resurfaces at the banks. Hence
the banks get colder faster than the central deep portions where it takes much longer time
for the heat exchange between the thick layers. This phenomenon can be clearly seen in the
figures. The lake starts losing temperature from the outer part towards the centre. Due to the
shorter duration of the simulation run the temperature doesn’t stabilize completely. If the
simulation is run for sufficiently longer duration, then the temperatures will be same
Similarly the distribution of the coliform is also dependent on the flow velocities. They are
carried on the direction of the flow. The concentration of coliform is the highest at the source
and decreases with distance away from the source. During the simulation run, it was observed
that the coliform didn’t spread throughout the lake, instead they were limited to a small
region around the source.

2019-08-01-00:00:00 2019-08-01-04:00:00

2019-08-01-08:00:00 2019-08-01-12:00:00

2019-08-01-16:00:00 2019-08-01-20:00:00

2019-08-02-00:00:00 2019-08-02-04:00:00

2019-08-02-08:00:00 2019-08-02-12:00:00

2019-08-02-16:00:00 2019-08-02-20:00:00

Figure 6: Surface layer maps of Velocity,

Temperature and Faecal Coliform Plume


Vertical cut of temperature and velocity vectors
A vertical cut was done through the plane crossing the central part of the lake and a plot was
done for temperature and velocity vectors. The following figures show us the plot of vertical
cuts at an interval of 4 hours for the entire simulation period.














Figure 7: Vertical section of temperature and velocity vector field

The velocity vectors are represented by arrows and the colour ramp represents the
temperature at various layers. The layer at the top is the warmest and the bottom layer is the
coolest with temperatures of 180C and 100C respectively. As shown in the figure 7, before the
start of the simulation the layers had stratified temperatures in six layers. When the
simulation is started, first the direction of flow is from west to east. The top layer moves in
the direction of wind whereas the bottom layer moves in opposite direction to that of the top
layer. This creates a circular flow along the cross section. Cool water from the bottom comes
up and the warm water from the top goes down. This recirculation causes mixing of water
and the heat resulting in a more stable temperature across the layers.
The wind direction also changes its direction after sometime. Hence due to changing wind
direction combined by formation of eddies causes the water in various layers to mix. Due to
mixing the top layer loses heat and becomes cooler whereas the bottom gets warmer by
gaining heat. As the simulation progresses, there is more and more formation of eddies and
circular flow. In this way heat is lost between the layers and they try to gain a stable
temperature. However, in the simulation the layers haven’t still gained a stable temperature.
It is interesting to note that a shallow portion on the left portion quickly attains a stable
temperature. The reason is that the water depth is small over there. The layers are too thin.
Hence the heat exchange and mixing is very quick.

Modification in the value of bottom surface rugosity
The value of rugosity for the bed of the lake was changed to 0.5 from 0.0025. Due to the
increase in the value of rugosity, the velocity modulus for the bottom layer further decreased.
If we consider the reference point 13_73, then for the rugosity value of 0.0025 the bottom
layer reached a peak value of around 0.056 m/s. But when the rugosity is increased to 0.5,
the peak value of the velocity modules didn’t cross even 0.4 m/s. Similarly there was also
decrease in the velocity modulus of the top layer. The obvious reason for the decrease in the
velocity (for both the layers) was the increased resistance to the flow.

Figure 8: Velocity modulus of top and bottom layer at point 13_73 (Bed Rugosity=0.5)

Modification in the value of number of layers and thickness

Simulation was carried out considering only 4 layers of equal thickness. The temperature from
bottom to top was 100C, 120C, 140C and 180C respectively. When the number of layers were
decreased to only 4, the bottom layer showed more increase in temperature compared to the
case of 6 layers. The mixing was easy and quick. However the results are highly approximated
because the vertical step size is bigger. It is good to have many reasonable layers and small
step size to have better results.

2019-08-03-00:00:00 (4 layers)

2019-08-03-00:00:00 (6 layers)
Figure 9: Comparative results of vertical cut at the end of simulation period for 4 layered and 6
layered case