Semester of Graduation

Summer 2023


Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



With the rate of coastal land loss in Louisiana, the state is looking for innovative ways to help restore and maintain its coastal wetlands. Sediment diversions are going to be constructed along the Lower Mississippi River to mitigate the issues by diverting river water, sediment and nutrients into adjacent wetlands. Since there are currently no real-world applications of sediment diversions, the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model is a beneficial modeling tool to study the impact sediment diversions and relative sea level rise have on the hydraulics and sediment transport processes in the river. The two river sediment diversions on the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model use single sluice gates. To replicate the prototype design diverted discharges, it is necessary to develop relationships between the river and receiving basin water levels, the gate openings, and the diverted discharges. The Lower Mississippi River Physical Model river sediment diversions have narrow, short channels, making it difficult to quantify the diverted discharge and to ensure that the design diverted discharge is met. Since the operation of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion on the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model has been determined, the operation of the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion needed to be determined. To determine the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion operation conditions, a series of experiments using different river discharges, sea level conditions and gate openings were performed. This was followed by a validation test that was used to confirm and adapt the gate configuration as necessary. During evaluation of the gate configuration, it was evident that supercritical flow conditions just past the sluice gate impact the gate opening requirements. Discharge results were generally within 5,000 cfs (~10%) of the design discharge for river conditions where the design discharge could be achieved.



Committee Chair

Willson, Clinton

Available for download on Wednesday, July 10, 2024