Mesh Generation for Estuarine Flow Modeling


computer modeling, estuaries, water flow, estuarine modeling


A finite element computer modeling system called TABS‐2 has been developed by the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi. TABS‐2 has been used to model shallow water flow in estuaries. Accurate modeling of the flow in estuaries using TABS‐2 requires the use of very large two‐dimensional finite element meshes. The task of constructing such meshes has traditionally been the most time‐consuming and error‐prone part of the modeling process. Most automatic mesh‐generation schemes are not well suited for estuarine modeling because the regions modeled are typically highly complex and irregular. As a result, the meshes are often constructed manually by coding the mesh in an ASCII file. Manual construction of large meshes is very tedious and can take several weeks to complete. To overcome this difficulty, a mesh generation scheme well suited for estuarine modeling has been developed involving a trian‐gulation algorithm and a variety of mesh editing tools. The scheme makes it possible to generate large meshes of several thousand elements in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the scheme results in meshes with favorable geometric properties, leading to stability and accurate solutions.

Original Publication Citation

Jones, Norman L. and D.R. Richards, "Mesh generation for estuarine flow modelling,"ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, and Coastal Engineering, Vol. 118, No. 6, November/December, 1992, pp. 599-614.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Civil and Environmental Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor