Velocity Profiles and Dispersion in Estuarine Flow

by Burton A. Segall, Asst. Prof.; Fac. of Civ. Engrg., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ,
Erik R. Gidlund, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., New York Univ., Bronx, NY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 4, Pg. 647-654

Document Type: Journal Paper


The dispersion of pollutants in tidal waters is caused by turbulence and the shear effect of oscillatory, density, wind driven and steady flow currents. This investigation examines velocity gradients in an oscillatory system and the effects that these gradients have on the spread of pollutants. Velocity distributions are derived from the equations of motion and a mass balance relationship is used to model the dispersion process. The resulting equations can be used to estimate the spread of pollutants in the uniform density sections of estuaries in which tidal motion is the predominant mechanism of dispersion or combined with equations which represent the influence of density, wind driven or steady flow currents.

Subject Headings: Tides | Pollutants | Density currents | Equations of motion | Velocity profile | Estuaries | Flow profiles | Oscillations

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