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Minimum environmental impact discharging

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posted on 14.08.2013, 13:49 authored by P. Mebine
Many contaminants exhibit decay. Decay mechanisms include consumption by bacteria or radioactive decay (temporal decay uniform across the flow), heat loss or evaporation through the surface (decay decreasing with depth), and break up by turbulence (decay proportional to the product of velocity and depth). This thesis investigates how the decay of pollutants in a river effects the dilution process and the selection of discharge siting to achieve minimum environmental impact. For a non-symmetric river with non-reversing flow, exact solutions are presented that illustrate the effect on the optimal position for a steady discharge of cross-channel variation in the decay (uniform, decreasing or increasing with depth). The optimal position is shifted to deeper or to shallower water accordingly as the temporal decay divided by flow speed decreases or increases with water depth. When advection dominates diffusion, there are special directions (rays) along which information is carried. For steady, unstratified, plane parallel flow, the effects of decay are allowed for in specifying these special directions. Two special cases are considered. Firstly, for a smoothly varying depth, a general result has been derived for the curvature of the rays as effected by spatial non-uniformity in decay, mixing, flow speed and flow direction. Secondly, for discontinuous variations in depth, diffusivity, velocity and decay, approximate concentration formulae are derived. Ray bending indicates that the downstream propagation of pollutant is principally in the low-decay region. Computational results are used to give pictorial illustration of the concentration distributions and of the difference between discharging at non-optimal and optimal sites.



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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University

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