Pool Effects on Longitudinal Dispersion in Streams and Rivers

Wei Zhang, Michel C. Boufadel
2010 Journal of Water Resource and Protection  
Surface storage (pools, pockets, and stagnant areas caused by woody debris, bars etc) is very important to solute transport in streams as it attenuates the peak of a spill but releases the solute back to the stream over a long time. The latter results in long exposure time of biota. Pools as fundamental stream morphology unit are commonly found in streams with mixed bed materials in pool-riffle or pool-step sequences. Fitting the transient storage model (TSM) to stream tracer test data may be
more » ... oblematic when pools present. A fully hydrodynamic 2-D, depth averaged advection-dispersion solute transport numerical simulation study on hypothetical stream with pool reveals that a pool can sharply enhance longitudinal spreading, cause a lag in the plume travel-time and radically increase solute residence time in the stream. These effects fade like a "wake" as the solute plume moves downstream of the pool. Further, these effects are strongly influenced by a dimensionless number derived from the 2-D transport equation   , which outlines the relative transverse mixing intensity of a stream or river, where, of the stream reach concerned, W is the flow width, Q 0 is the volumetric flow rate, q is the longitudinal flux density, and D t is the transverse turbulent diffusion coefficient. The breakthrough curves (BTCs) downstream of a pool may be "heavy tailed" which cannot be modeled accurately by the TSM. The internal transport and mixing condition (including the secondary circulations) in a pool together with the pool's dimension determine the pool's storage effects especially when  >> 1. Results also suggest that the falling limb of a BTC more accurately characterizes the pool's storage because the corresponding solute has more chance to sample the entire storage area.
doi:10.4236/jwarp.2010.211114 fatcat:2xreqy5dcnfgbbp3b5kohwnngy