Sampling to Characterize Stream Plumes

by Christopher C. Clarkson, (A.M.ASCE), Staff Engr.; Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc., Springfield, Va. 22151,
Donald Dean Adrian, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. 01003,
James W. Male, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. 01003,


Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 167-182


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: New perspectives are offered on taking samples to determine pollutant concentrations in a stream cross section. By combining plume simulation with a gradient search curve fitting procedure, a means is provided to characterize a pollutant plume by finding its mass flux, center of concentration, and lateral dispersion. Additionally, a number is determined of grab samples needed from the cross section of the plume to find these characteristics. As few as four grab samples from the cross section of a plume are sufficient. If the lateral position of a pollutant in a stream is not known, the negative binomial distribution offers some insight into determining how many grab samples to draw. A consideration of cost factors is included.

Subject Headings: Plumes | Pollutants | Water pollution | Curvature | Rivers and streams

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