A 3D numerical model was used to compute the discharge distribution in the channel branches of Lake Øyeren's delta in Norway. The model solved the Navier–Stokes equations with the k–ɛ turbulence model on a 3D unstructured grid. The bathymetry dataset for the modelling had to be combined from different data sources. The results for three different flow situations in 1996 and 1997 showed a relative accuracy of the computed discharges within the range of 0 to±20% compared with field measurements taken by an ADCP at 13 cross sections of the distributary channels. The factors introducing the most error in the computed results are believed to be uncertainties concerning the bathymetry. A comparison between the computational results of the older morphology data from 1985–1990 and the model morphology from 1995–2004 indicated that morphological changes in this period had already had consequences for the flow distribution in some channels. Other important error sources were the inevitable use of averaged water level gradients because of unavailable water level measurements within the delta.
Keywords: CFD modelling, delta, flow distribution, Øyeren, 3D numerical model