Winter-Regime Thermal Response of Heated Streams

by Poothrikka P. Paily, Grad. Res. Assoc.; Inst. of Hydr. Res., Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA,
Enzo O. Macagno, (Aff.M.ASCE), Res. Engr.; Inst. of Hydr. Res., and Prof., Dept. of Mech. and Hydr., Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA,
John F. Kennedy, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Inst. of Hydr. Res. and Prof., Dept. of Mech. and Hydr., Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 531-551

Document Type: Journal Paper


The increase in water temperature in natural streams due to waste heat disposal from thermal power plants leads to extensive ice-free reaches during winter periods. It is shown that the surface heat exchange between water and the atmosphere can be expressed, for most practical purposes, as a linear function of the water temperature. Using this approximation, a closed-form solution of the one-dimensional unsteady convection-diffusion equation is developed to predict temperature distributions in streams and the lengths of ice-free reaches downstream from the thermal discharge sections.

Subject Headings: Winter | Thermal properties | Rivers and streams | Temperature distribution | Thermal pollution | Hydro power | Water temperature | Thermal power

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