Extension of the QUASAR river water quality model to incorporate dead-zone mixing
- *Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, SW7 2BU, UK.
- †Department of Geography, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK.
Abstract. A modification to the well-known water quality model "Quality Simulation Along River Systems" (QUASAR) is presented, extending its utility to real-time forecasting applications such as the management and control of pollution incidents. Two aggregated dead-zone (ADZ) parameters, namely time delay and dispersive fraction, are incorporated into the existing model formulation, extending the current continuously stirred tank reactor based model processes to account for advective and active mixing volume dispersive processes. The resulting river water quality model combines the strengths of the QUASAR model, which has proven non-conservative pollutant modelling capabilities, with the accurate advection and dispersion characterisation of the ADZ model. A discrete-time mathematical representation of the governing equations is developed that enables efficient system identification methods of parameter estimation to be utilised. The enhanced water quality model and associated methods of parameter estimation are validated using data from tracer experiments conducted on the River Mimram. The revised model produces accurate predictions of observed concentration-time curves for conservative substances.