Suspended Solids Analysis of Estuarine Systems

by Donald J. O'Connor, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Environmental Engrg. and Sci. Program, Manhattan College, Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, N.Y. 10471,
WuSeng Lung, Project Engr.; Hydroscience, Inc., Westwood, N.J.; presently Sr. Environmental Engr., WAPORA, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 101-120

Document Type: Journal Paper


A steady-state analysis of the distribution of suspended solids in estuaries has been developed and applied to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the James and the Rappahannock Rivers. The method is based on a simplified analysis of the density-driven circulation in estuaries, resulting in a two-layered flow pattern, with the surface layer flowing seaward, the bottom layer landward, and a vertical flow between the layers for continuity. These transport coefficients, with the vertical dispersion coefficient, permit calculation of the longitudinal distribution of salinity in the two layers. The settling velocity, assigned on the basis of size and density measurements of the particles, is included in the transport equation to determine the distribution of suspended solids. Comparisons of the calculated profiles with the observed values of solids concentrations indicate good agreement and demonstrate the general validity of the approach as a practical engineering analysis.

Subject Headings: System analysis | Turbidity | Solid mechanics | Estuaries | Flow patterns | Particle velocity | Velocity distribution | Steady states

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