Estimation of far-field horizontal and vertical turbulent diffusion coefficients from the concentration field of a wastewater plume near the Akashi Strait

Jeremy D. Bricker, Akihiko Nakayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We carried out a field study of the plume discharged by a near-shore wastewater outfall near the Akashi Strait, Japan. Using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and a tow-body CTD, we measured the near-surface salinity and temperature fields in the region throughout an M2 tidal cycle. We filtered the data in T-S space to remove water masses other than the wastewater, and then used the adiabatic mixing assumption to calculate the concentration of wastewater in the far field of this plume. Averaging the T-S fields of repeated surveys over a time period during which the tidal regime did not change substantially, allowed comparison of the time-averaged plume with the analytical solution for a plume diffusing in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The resulting vertical turbulent diffusion coefficients agreed well with those resulting from Thorpe scales determined via a vertically-profiling CTD, as well as with the canonical value for open channel flow of Dz = 0.067hu*. The corresponding horizontal turbulent diffusion coefficients, however, were two orders of magnitude larger than those typically observed in straight channels, and an order of magnitude larger than those observed in meandering rivers. This is likely a result of enhanced horizontal mixing due to barotropic eddies generated by the interaction of strong tidal flow with headlands and levees, as well as due to the time-varying nature of tidal flow, and baroclinic spreading of the buoyant wastewater plume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Estuary
  • Osaka Bay
  • Tides
  • Wastewater plume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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