Controlling the Salt Wedge Intrusion in Shatt Al-Arab River by a Barrage

Abstract

Shatt Al-Arab River in Al Basrah, Iraq, has recently recorded massive levels of TDS values (Total Dissolved Solids) in the water as a result of reduced fresh water discharge from sources, causing the river to become salinized due to salt wedge intrusion. Therefore, a block dam in the south reach is required to salt intrusion prevention. The main objective of this research is to simulate the hydraulic impact of a suggested barrage in Ras Al Besha on the Shatt Al-Arab River. The HEC-RAS (5.0.7) model was used to develop a one-dimensional unsteady model to gaining an understanding of the proposed barrage's influence on river behaviour. The daily discharges of the Tigris River provided as the upstream boundary conditions, while the hourly water levels of the Shatt Al-Arab River provided as the downstream boundary conditions. The model was initially run on the basis of daily discharges in Aug 2018 and March 2020 for the model's calibration and verification. Then, a model was run with a proposed barrage, Four cases of discharge were chosen which were the low and moderate discharge that equal to (20-50-100 and 250) m3/s with adopted spring tide cycle. The operation scenarios were examined under the influence of three cases of barrage gates (fully opened, 50% open and programmed opening). The results indicate that the investigated discharges will cause a significant problems in navigation depths, especially in the case of the programming of gates opening where the stages drop range between 2.01-3.3m comparing with the normal case. Furthermore, the velocity indicators show that the significant reduction in velocity upstream the barrage led to more sedimentation in the river reach.