Oceanography / Limnology
Numerical Modeling
Visualization and Animation
Specialized Sampling Tools
Acid Rock Drainage
Database/Software Development

Effluent plumes can be generated by the sub-surface discharge of water and dissolved contaminants. Typically, as in the case of sewage being discharged into the ocean, the relatively fresh effluent has a lower density than the saltier receiving waters and will rise to the surface or to a sub-surface trapping depth depending on the depth of discharge and the temperature and salinity of the effluent and ocean.

The near-field behaviour of effluent within an Initial Dilution Zone (IDZ) can be simulated by models such as UM available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. UM calculates the vertical profile of effluent dilution and diameter using information on the temperature and salinity of both the effluent and receiving waters.

The effluent distribution within the IDZ calculated by UM can then be used to determine the far-field effluent dilution over large regions of a lake or coastal ocean waters using currents obtained from measurements or from a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model.