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Visualization of the salinity plume from a coastal ocean water desalination plant

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A salinity plume, with a maximum of 35.3 parts per thousand (ppt), was detected adjacent to the effluent source of a desalination plant on Santa Catalina Island, Los Angeles County, Calif., a 3% increase relative to the maximum of the control area. Four methods of visualizing these data were used to identify and describe the plume and one, volumetric visualization, was superior. This method revealed a surface and subsurface distribution of the effluent that is affected by tide and wave action. The plume is transported offshore and alongshore with a tidally-related separation of the diluted effluent into upcoast and downcoast parts with probable wave-related transport offshore.

Keywords: brine; desalination; effluent; ocean; salinity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1994-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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