2.3   Hydrologic/hydraulic and sediment transport environmental projection modelling

Dr. Ian G. Droppo, Environment Canada



The Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan (JOSMP: 2012) identified a need for a more systematic and comprehensive quantification and modelling of the source, transport and fate of materials and chemical substances entering the lower Athabasca watershed. Towards this end, integrated hydrodynamic, sediment transport and water quality models are being developed for the Lower Athabasca River (LAR). Such models are key to provide a predictive capacity for the management of the LAR, as current and future changes in hydro-climatic conditions may influence hydrologic, hydrodynamic and sediment/contaminant dynamic conditions and have concomitant influences on various related components within JOSMP. Within the Water Component, modelling links may be made with Benthic Invertebrates, Toxicology, Wild Fish Health and Water Quality, and cross-component links may be made with Atmospheric and Wildlife. This work employs both physical modelling of sediment dynamics and process-based predictive numerical hydro-climatic/hydrodynamic/sediment/quality models. The presentation will provide information on the integrated modelling approach used and where future work will be focused. Specifically, 1) sediment dynamic work within an annular flume will be described along with results from Ells River sediment transport modelling (MOBED and RIVFLOC), and 2) numerical modelling outcomes including the common Environment Canada/AEMERA modelling platform (EFDC), will be discussed with future predictive capabilities.


Dr. Ian G. Droppo is a Senior Research Scientist at Environment Canada, with over 25 years of experience focusing on sediment dynamics within natural and engineered systems. He has undertaken research in multiple environments including urban stormwater management, remediation of contaminated bed sediments, bed sediment stability, and in the source, fate and effect of sediments and associated contaminants. He has over 85 international research journal publications, and is currently the Lead for the Hydrology/Climatology/ Sediment Dynamics group under the Water Component of JOSMP. Dr. Droppo holds adjunct professorships at three Canadian universities, where he actively supervises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students.