What is ECOMSED?

ECOMSED is a model of transport used in the moving of sediments from one place to another. Currently, it is in use at the New York/ New Jersey harbor. This development was brought about by HydroQual as a way to make water transportation easy for the city of New York.

Transportation of sediments

The model gets its basis from a three dimension set-up which has links to the ECOM system. It works out the nature of the sediments as it figures out which are cohesive and which are not. There are various procedures in the model such as depositing, aggregating, resuspending, armoring the bed and consolidating.

For the system to work efficiently, it needs information such as the type of bed, the distribution of grain sizes, the sediment characteristics, and the dry density of the bed as well as the sediment loadings in the bed. As the sediment moves along the system, the output gets relayed with regards to the alterations in the bed levels, how much sediment gets deposited and the concentration of the residues.

To work out the deposition of sediments as well as the resuspension changes, you require working out the shear stress on the bed induced by the interactions of wave currents. As such, you will make use of CARP. CARP uses a model that deals with wind waves and with it, you can tell the direction of the incoming stream as well as how high it will be and what time it will occur.

ECOMSED uses an upgraded version of CARP to get one that can account for the effects of friction on waves as the water gets shallow. The model of CARP used in this case also looks into the consequences of wave breaking in the final output relayed.

The output derived from the calculations of CARP is then put to use to work out the amount of friction required at the bottom of the bed. This resistance is essential in telling how much shear stress can get caused by the interaction of wave currents which takes place at the water-sediment interface.


The output gotten from ECOMSED gets used in the computation of the portions of chemicals to release into the water using depositing as well as resuspension. HydroQual submitted a work plan which detailed how they would handle this model in the Passaic River Estuary. As they did so, they had run tests on the effectiveness of CARP and had received output which can get used in the inlet the moment they get permission from the Hudson River Foundation.

There are many phases of the project. One such stage is the 'nested fine grid' phase where the procedure uses CARP. After a while, the developers of this project brought in a new model known as SWEM which handled some of the activities done by CARP. The good thing about this new model is that it brings in aspects of ECOMSED such that it can calculate particulate organic matter, dissolved organic carbon as well as the depositing and resuspending of carbon on the sediment bed. The system also calculates how many solids have gotten deposited.

With this system in place, the transportation of sediments will be a breeze.