2016 Volume 10 Issue 1 Pages 21-26
This study develops a tide propagation model in order to forecast water levels and velocities at a given time and location for the largest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho City. The simulation model is applied to a complex waterway system that is characterised by a number of small canals and tributaries, which connect with the main stream. The model, which is verified by comparison with observed water levels during a typical dry season, enables examination of the mechanisms of tidal propagation, which have an impact on floods, inundation and saline water intrusion. The model analysis indicates that the difference in tidal amplitude between a connecting tributary and the main stream is small, whereas the flow velocity largely varies depending on the location. The flow velocity in the tributary, which exceeded 1 m/s, is almost three times that of the main river. This kind of local amplification in flow velocity is important when evaluating flood/inundation risks in urban areas of the Mekong Delta, as small ships are likely to encounter difficulties in handling or risk being overturned due to unexpectedly rapid flows that occur during these abnormal high tides or typhoon storm surges.