Articles | Volume 20, issue 2
Research article
26 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 26 Apr 2013

Modeling of the near-field distribution of pollutants coming from a coastal outfall

T. P. Lyubimova, B. Roux, S. Luo, Y. N. Parshakova, and N. S. Shumilova

Abstract. The present study concerns the 3-D distribution of pollutants emitted from a coastal outfall in the presence of strong sea currents. The problem is solved using the nonlinear Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations in the framework of the k-ε model. The constants of the logarithmic law for the vertical velocity profile in the bottom boundary layer are obtained by processing experimental data from acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs). The near-field distribution of pollutants at different distances from the diffuser is obtained in terms of the ambient flow velocity (steady or with tidal effect) and outfall discharge characteristics. It is shown that even in the case where the effluent density is substantially lower than the ambient sea water density the plume can impact the seabed, creating a risk of pollution of removable bottom sediments.