Cape Fear River Entrance Numerical Modeling


Location: Brunswick County, N.C.

Client: Village of Bald Head Island, N.C.

Tasks: Assessment of the Wilmington Harbor Navigation Project Entrance Channel Improvements


The Village of Bald Head Island, a developed coastal barrier island resort community located at the entrance to the Cape Fear River has sought remediation due to damages resulting from the construction and maintenance of an adjacent federal navigation project channel.  In order to assess the effects of a channel deepening and ocean entrance channel reconfiguration project (constructed in 2000), an ongoing Sand Management Plan and the potential for remedial modifications to the project, Olsen Associates, Inc. has developed a Delft 3D Model of the Cape Fear River environs.  The numerical model is intended to evaluate the inlet’s hydrodynamic regimen, sediment transport conditions or pathways, effects of the 2000 entrance channel reorientation and deepening, as well as ongoing sediment management practices of the Wilmington District, USACOE.  The model has also been utilized to evaluate structural alternatives to be potentially constructed by the Village or the USACOE to reduce recurring destabilization effects at Bald Head Island resulting from the navigation channel’s biennial maintenance.

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