Modeling Pollution in Strait of Maracaibo

by Gustavo Parra-Pardi, Dir.; Environmental Engrg., Parra, Blanco, Caceres and Assocs., Conculting Engrs., Caracas, Venezuela,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 5, Pg. 959-976

Document Type: Journal Paper


In 1974, a far-reaching research program was undertaken to solve the problems of pollution in the Lake Maracaibo system, a partially mixed estuary, and specifically to draw up a master plan to control and manage its water quality. Separate analyses of organic and bacterial pollution were carried out, using a combination of modeling techniques. Mathematical models which simulated the essential phenomena of these two types of pollution were calibrated. The hydrological balance of the lake was used to define the range of runoff values to be used in the design of control measures. The pollution loads were estimated, the self-purification factors calibrated, a wide range of simulated situations were analyzed, and sets of control curves of organic and bacterial pollution were prepared. Among the more significant findings is a deoxygenation rate of 0.02 and a bacterial disappearance rate of 0.6 in the strait.

Subject Headings: Bacteria | Pollution | Water pollution | Lakes | Water quality | Mathematical models | Calibration | Load factors

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