A review of the navigability modelling for inland waterways

Anderson Frigo, Tobias Bleninger

Thursday 2 july 2015

17:36 - 17:39h at Amazon (level 1)

Themes: (T) Water engineering, (ST) River and coastal engineering, Poster pitches

Parallel session: Poster pitches: 13B. River Engineering

Among all Brazilian waterways the Paraguay River highlights as one of the most important. It is approximately 1300 kilometers long and links the interior of South America to the deep-water ports in Argentina and Uruguay, enabling the efficient flow of raw material as grain and ore. Nevertheless, the potential of the Paraguay River waterway is not fully explored. One of the main factors contributing to this scenario is the lack of operational methodologies and field surveys. The navigation is performed using only bathymetric data and the expertise of the sailors, which is not consistent with modern, competitive and safe waterways. Therefore, Brazilian government started a project to revitalize the Paraguay waterway, comprising the river and its most important tributaries. This study presents the initial investigation to assess the navigability of the Paraguay River. Initially previous works related to hydrodynamic modeling and operational methodologies used worldwide were analyzed. It was identified that there is a lack of researches on this topic, sparse on specific problems and the methodologies used are often concepts of marine navigation and approach channels. Initial surveys for Paraguay River are described and discussed. Large-scale field measurements are necessary to determine the navigation potential of the river, hence longitudinal bathymetry, velocity profile, sediment sampling, hydrologic parameters of the watershed and vessel characteristics were measured. Given the large extent of the study area the main difficulty was to determine whether the samples were sufficient to characterize the spatial and temporal characteristics of the river and which is the most appropriate hydrodynamic model to be applied. Also, to better evaluate the navigability condition it will be necessary do develop a model that couple the rivers, vessels and flow characteristics to assess the motion of boats on the waterway.