A Mathematical Model for Predicting the Motion of Polluting Surface Plumes Due to Drift Currents

by Michele Di Natale, Hydraulics - Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastlines of the Mediterranean


The paper analyzes the problem of displacement from the offshore to the nearshore of a polluting surface plume, subject to advection generated by wind-waves and wind-currents. After a critical analysis of the most recent theoretical formulations relative to the drift-current phenomenon, some empirical expressions are suggested to compute surface transport velocity in the presence of waves, wind-currents or both. Through appropriate simplification of the wind field, a trajectory analysis model is also proposed which allows forecasting, along an assigned stretch of coastline, the zones most exposed in probabilistic terms to contamination.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Plumes | Mathematical models | Wind waves | Water waves | Surface waves | Simulation models

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