Model for Shore-Attached Thermal Plumes in Rivers

by Poothrikka P. Paily, (M.ASCE), Sect. Head; Physical Sci. Sect., NALCO Environmental Sci., Northbrook, Ill.,
William W. Sayre, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Energy Engrg. Div., and Research Engr., Inst. of Hydr. Research, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 5, Pg. 709-723

Document Type: Journal Paper


Side discharges of power plant thermal effluents into natural rivers cause the formation of thermal plumes, the shape and orientation of which depend upon both the discharge conditions and the ambient flow characteristics. When the turbulence level of the ambient flow is high, rapid vertical mixing is achieved between the effluent discharge and the river flow, and the thermal plume becomes shore-attached with the maximum temperatures within the plume occurring along the near shore. In order to determine the isotherm patterns within shore-attached thermal plumes, a solution of the depth-integrated steady-state convection-diffusion equation is obtained. The solution is cast in terms of space-cumulative discharge coordinates, thus allowing the inclusion of the effects of cross-channel flow induced by channel curvature in the model.

Subject Headings: Thermal pollution | Thermal analysis | Water discharge | River flow | Channel flow | Hydrologic models | Shores | Plumes

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