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A case study of longitudinal dispersion in small lowland rivers

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Contaminant transport in natural streams is considered on the basis of tracer studies in Moldovian small lowland rivers. Theories describing the spread of conservative and passive pollutants in the context of a longitudinal dispersion model, as well as attempts to estimate the discrepancy between this model and natural processes, are discussed. It is shown that the model agrees with experimental data, with an accuracy ranging from 15 to 20%, at least in the upper [C(t) > 0.5C max] concentration distributions. The process behaves in a quasi-Fickian manner only at distances greater than 80 to 100 times the river width. Primarily, the nonuniformity of the average velocities over cross sections affects the process. An estimate of the Lagrangian spatial scales was proposed, and it was shown that those scales are as large as two to four times the length of alternate bars.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1997-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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