The Determination of Longitudinal Dispersion Coefficients in Rivers

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The dispersion coefficient of several sections of two Spanish rivers (Tagus and Ebro) is calculated using different methods. The aim of the study is to accurately know the effects of accidental leaks from two nuclear power plants that are placed upstream. Experimental data from tracer injections as well as data from hydraulic parameters were used to calculate the dispersion coefficient. Two methods based on tracer curves fit the experimental data well. One method is based on the time at which the tracer concentration is half the maximum concentration; the other method is based on the variance of the tracer curve distribution. An alternative method based on governmental data of velocity profiles and correlations of hydraulic parameters was also used. The results of this method are strongly sensitive to small variations in the stream flowrate. A new correlation is proposed to predict the dispersion coefficient with an error smaller than the one provided by other correlations in the literature.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2003

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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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