San Francisco Estuary

San Francisco Estuary

San Francisco Estuary is located in California state, U.S.A. It is the largest estuary on the west coast of America.

This Estuary is the centre of population, commerce, industry, and recreation. In the hinterland the estuary connects to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta which is an extended inland river delta. The Delta lies east of San Francisco Bay. Two main rivers meet in this area, the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River.


Several problem occurred in previous modleing studies. One problem was the high sedimentation rates in the eastern portion of both highly schematized river branches during the dry season (Van der Wegen et al. [2011]). Another problem was the limited performance in terms of skill score and sediment budget in the discontinuous decadal simulations of Suisun Bay bathymetry change, Ganju et al. [2011].


  1. Find suspended sediment transport patterns.
  2. Simulate high discharge induced suspended sediment concentration change in 3 months of wet season.
  3. Schematize landward boundary conditions.


Hydrodynamic modeling

D-Flow is developed by Deltares, Netherland. The main feature of DFLOW model is that it can generate triangular grid cells, combine structured grids and non-structured grid system. This type of grid is more flexible in the complex geography.

Suspended sediment concentration modeling

Delft3D-WAQ is a 3-dimensional water quality model framework. It solves the advection-diffusion-reaction equation on a predefined computational grid and for a wide range of model substances.


Master thesis

“Modelling sediment transport in the San Francisco Estuary”, May 2012 (WSE-HE-CEPD-12.8)

Open Visualization Tool (OpenVT v1)

  • Fortran
  • OpenGL
  • NetCDF