Outfall dilution: The role of a far-field model

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Abstract

Effluent dilutions predicted by near-field models do not realistically reflect near-field conditions in tidally influenced coastal waters since they neglect the advection of the pollutant cloud over the source. A theoretical solution has been developed for the case in which a conservative pollutant is released from a line source into a uniform unsteady flowing ambient where diffusion is only significant in the cross-stream direction. Considering the case of a sinusoidal variation of velocity along the streamwise principal axis, it has been shown that the expected concentration at a source located in a typical flow field may increase by as much as 15% per cycle over that predicted by the near-field model. A hypothetical outfall was analyzed using real data and a dispersion model which accounts for the near-, as well as far-field mixing. The near-field model was found to underestimate the average dilution at the source by about 21%. Extreme values were also underestimated. The results of this study indicate that a complete dispersion model should be used in predicting dilutions in outfall mixing zones of coastal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-486
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Volume111
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1985

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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