Analysis of Estuarine Tracer-Gas Transport and Desorption

by Jerad D. Bales, US Geological Survey, Raleigh, NC, USA,
Edward R. Holley, US Geological Survey, Raleigh, NC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The riverine tracer-gas technique provides a direct, reach-averaged measure of gas exchange, is fairly simple to implement, and is widely accepted for determining reaeration-rate coefficients in rivers. The method, however, is not directly applicable to flows having vertical density gradients. Consequently, studies were undertaken to develop and evaluate methods for obtaining surface-exchange coefficients from estuarine tracer-gas data. Reasonable estimates of the desorption coefficient (within 50 percent of the correct value) were obtained when an analytical solution of the transport equation was compared with data from a numerically simulated continuous release of tracer gas.

Subject Headings: Probe instruments | Desorption | Rivers and streams | Aeration | Water supply systems | Transport phenomena | Estuaries

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