Heat Disposal in Water Environment

by Donald R.F. Harleman, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; R.M. Parsons Lab. for Water Resources and Hydrodynamics, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 9, Pg. 1117-1138

Document Type: Journal Paper


The need for continuing development of techniques for predicting temperature distributions due to waste heat discharges into lakes, rivers, estuaries, and the oceans is presented. Diffusion of buoyant jets is examined, including heated surface jets and multiple jets issuing from a submerged multiport diffuser. In the near-field analysis of surface jets the important problems are related to the lateral spreading caused by buoyancy. Comparison of theoretical predictions with laboratory and field observations are given. The mechanics of multiport diffusers for heated discharges in shallow receiving waters are explained in contrast to sewage diffusers. The important problem is the degree to which stratification can be maintained in order to minimize local reintrainment and reduction of dilution capacity. Criteria for stable and unstable flow regimes are provided. A mathematical model for temperature distribution, with or without waste heat addition, in unsteady flows under time-varying meteorological conditions is given.

Subject Headings: Jets (fluid) | Temperature distribution | Diffusion | Water discharge | Water management | Waste management | Heat flow | Lakes

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