Author(s): Yousef Alosairi; Tanuspong Pokavanich
Keywords: Kuwait Bay; Hydrodynamics; Bridge pier; Numerical modelling; DELFT3D
Abstract: In recent decades, coastal development in Kuwait have been accelerated enormously due to the major increase in oil related income and economic diversification schemes. The rapid expansion of industrial complexes, an exceptional rise in private real estate investment, tourism and service industries, including high birth rates and the entry of foreign labour, accompanied by prospering economy, have all resulted in a massive human population growth at Kuwait's coastal region. This has led to the need of developing and constructing a new city at the northern area of Kuwait Bay linked to Kuwait City, which is located at southern area of the Bay, by a bridge, named Jaber Al-Sabah, spanning roughly 20 km across the Bay. The bridge is at early stages of planning and is being estimated to be supported by 129 bridge piers driven into the seabed. The bridge piers have shown to affect the hydrodynamic regime, and subsequently, the water quality of the Bay. This paper is focused on estimating the hydro-environmental impact of the bridge piers on the Bay's water by utilising a well established and fully integrated numerical model named DELFT3D. The model have been set up to model the whole Bay using a very fine curvilinear grid and the bridge piers has been treated as a completely dry cells. The results of the model have shown that the bridge piers has well contributed in mixing the Bay waters, at the near field, particularly during summer when stratification is most significant. However, tidal currents at Sulaibikhat Bay and coastal areas have been reduced slightly, in which dominant northwesterly blowing winds come into role in mixing processes of this region. Scenarios conducted using numerical tracers have shown that the bridge would increase the solutes levels upstream the bridge, and therefore, modifying the residence time can be well predicted.