Numerical Modeling

Wave Propagation & Transformation, Tidal & Wave Hydrodynamics, and Water Quality & Sedimentation

Listed below are many of the projects we’ve completed for our clients over the years. We’ve chosen to focus and expand on several key examples which are highlighted in blue. Clicking on those projects allows you to view in-depth what services NCI provided as well as details on the project itself.



San Onofre Lagoon Estuary Enhancement Report

Camp Pendleton, CA

NCI prepared a report recommending an enhancement plan for the improvement of the San Onofre Lagoon, which is located on the U.S. Marine Corp’s Camp Pendleton base. Work consisted of site visits, data collection, engineering analysis and evaluation of the site’s hydrology/oceanography conditions to identify erosion characteristics, and proposing a range of feasible alternatives including structural and non-structural measures to enhance the San Onofre Lagoon. A detailed hydrodynamic analysis under small or moderate flood conditions was performed using the modules of RMA2 and SED2D of the Surface-Water Modeling System (SMS) that was developed by the Corps of Engineers to simulate the flow field within the lagoon boundary and to estimate the potential sediment scouring and re-deposition in the proposed excavation areas for various lagoon habitat improvement options.

The RMA2 modeled results indicate that flow pattern in San Onofre Lagoon will be altered under each proposed enhancement option, particularly during a flood event, as the direct consequence of the changed lagoon configuration. Based upon the SED2D modeled results, sediment deposition occurs throughout most of the lagoon region, particularly in the proposed expansion areas. It was estimated that 20 percent of the storage capacity would be refilled under a 5-year flood event. Therefore, the estimated re-excavation cycle is approximately from 5 to 10 years.


The effectiveness of each lagoon enhancement alternative in improving the lagoon marine habitat and preventing bank erosion was then assessed for the selection of an optimal alternative. In addition, construction costs for the proposed alternatives were also presented in the analysis, based upon each itemized estimate of mobilization/demobilization, construction material, required construction equipment and manpower.

Santa Margarita Estuary Hydrodynamic Analysis

San Diego County, CA

NCI performed a comprehensive engineering study of the existing Federal breakwater system to identify improvements that would lesson harbor shoaling and storm damages to the interior mooring basins and development. Studies included detailed analysis of extreme events to determine the occurrence of critical wave exposure; energy transmission through the existing breakwater structures; associated storm wave runup; and damages to interior mole areas and basins. Alternatives were formulated to raise, modify, seal, and extend the rubble-mound breakwaters and improve inner harbor protective devices. A Federal plan of action was identified on the basis of storm damage reduction need and resultant economic benefit to the local commerce.

Yosemite Canal Wetlands Restoration

San Francisco, CA

NCI performed a reconnaissance study to identify improvements to mitigate navigation and storm damage due to harbor shoaling and wave-induced flooding. Studies included analyses of deepwater and shallow water waves, wave transformation, sediment transport, sediment budget, entrance channel shoaling rates, tides, water circulation and harbor flushing. Alternative improvements evaluated consisted of extending the existing breakwater; constructing a new east breakwater and/or a new detached breakwater; extending the groin; installing a new beach groin; improving the Leadbetter Beach revetment; dredging West Beach and/or a new channel; removing the sandbar breakwater; and purchase of a dredge. This evaluation considered design constraints, cost estimates, operation and maintenance costs, and cost-benefit ratios.

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