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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Rivers, Estuaries and Coastal Waters

Protecting the water quality, water supply, and aquatic ecosystems of the world's rivers and streams is critical to maintaining and improving the quality of life for people throughout the planet. PNNL develops and maintains state-of-the-art modeling systems that describe the complex interactions of the physical and biological processes in rivers and streams. PNNL scientists model fluid flow processes with a suite of one, two and three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics models that can be linked to biological models, which are used to estimate the impact to fish and other aquatic species. PNNL scientists perform laboratory experiments that examine the interactions between fish and complex flows and conduct field measurements of water velocity, temperature, and other physical parameters. PNNL assists our clients in making informed decisions by using measurements and simulation models to analyze and assess the impacts on engineered systems, water quality and aquatic ecosystems from:

  • River and reservoir operations
  • Hydraulic structures
  • Water quality, temperature, sediment transport and dissolved gases
  • Fate and transport of contaminants
  • Fish passage systems
  • Fish habitat.

PNNL staff in the Hydrology, Ecology and Marine Sciences groups callobrate to bring a comprehensive set of technical skills to bear on each problem.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas