Numerical Prediction of Thermal-Regime of Rivers

by Poothrikka P. Paily, (M.ASCE), Scientist; Physical Sci. Div., NALCO Environmental Sci., Northbrook, Ill.,
Enzo O. Macagno, (Aff.M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Inst. of Hydraulic Research, and Prof., Div. of Energy Engrg., The Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 255-274

Document Type: Journal Paper


The one-dimensional form of the unsteady convection-diffusion equation adequately describes the thermal-regime of rivers for fully mixed flow conditions. In general, it is not easy to develop closed-form solutions of this nonlinear partial parabolic equation. Thus, a numerical solution, based on a predictor-corrector scheme, is developed for this equation, which can be applied for predicting the thermal response of natural and heated rivers under variable meteorological factors and transient thermal discharge and flow conditions. Results of a field investigation conducted in the Mississippi River near Cordova, Ill. during winter are presented, along with a comparison of the measured and predicted steady-state temperature distributions in the river.

Subject Headings: Thermal pollution | Numerical methods | Thermal effects | Rivers and streams | One-dimensional flow | River flow | Transient flow | Field tests | Mississippi River

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