The Effects of Basin Slope and Boundary Friction on the Character and Plunge Location of Hyperpycnal Flows Entering a Laterally Unbounded Basin

dc.contributor.authorBhide, Shantanu Vidyadharen
dc.contributor.committeechairStrom, Kyle Brenten
dc.contributor.committeememberScott, Durelle T.en
dc.contributor.committeememberDymond, Randel L.en
dc.contributor.departmentEnvironmental Science and Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractThis thesis focuses on the behaviour of hyperpycnal plumes in river mouth discharges. The plunging of high density flows in two dimensional channels has been extensively studied before. A fundamental assumption in these studies is that the flow is laterally confined. These studies allow the flow to plunge only in two directions, the horizontal x-direction and the vertical z-direction. The goal of this study is to determine if there is observable plunging of hyperpycnal flows in the lateral y-direction, i.e. lateral spreading, in a three dimensional domain and to find out the parameters influencing the lateral spread. Previous studies conducted in laterally confined channels suggest that hyperpycnal flows plunge when the flow reaches a densimetric Froude number of unity. This study attempts to find the densimetric Froude number at hyperpycnal plunging in a three dimensional domain and if it is influenced by the factors that also influence the spread. This study also analyzes whether the cross-shore location for plunging changes when lateral spreading is accounted for, relative to a two dimensional analysis and if the plunging is limited to flow reaching a certain depth. This was accomplished through a series of experimental simulations on a hypothetical river mouth domain using Delft-3D, a hydrodynamic modeling software. Three parameters viz. the bottom slope of the receiving basin, the bottom friction and the density difference between inflow and ambient liquid were varied to test their influence on the plume spread rate.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralIt is crucial for researchers to have the expertise in modeling flow processes that develop in oceans, lakes and reservoirs in order to aid efforts in improving conditions for water quality within such domains. Hyperpycnal flows, also commonly known as high density flows are among one of the the less studied phenomenon in this discipline. This phenomenon occurs when a river carrying water with high density flows into an ocean, lake or a reservoir containing water with a lower density. Such flow regimes cause the inflow to submerge and sink to the bottom (plunge) and form a density current on the bed of the receiving basin. Studying density flows is important to model the transport of sediments, dissolved solids or pollutants. This study aims to improve the existing understanding of hyperpycnal plumes, their plunge location and spread in a three dimensional domain. For this, a simulation software Delft3D was used to build a model that is representative of the system and closely resembles the flow processes taking place in the aforementioned domains. Simulations were then run to collect data on how factors like the initial flow conditions (∆ρ), the basin slope (S) and friction (Chézy coefficient, Cz) have an impact on the phenomenon. This data was then compared to previous analyses to show the difference in plume behaviour and prediction of plunging. This study serves as a stepping stone in the ultimate goal of developing a prediction model for hyperpycnal plumes, indicating that Delft3D is a promising tool for analyzing such phenomenon.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectHyperpycnal Flowsen
dc.subjectLaterally Unconfined Basinen
dc.titleThe Effects of Basin Slope and Boundary Friction on the Character and Plunge Location of Hyperpycnal Flows Entering a Laterally Unbounded Basinen
dc.typeThesisen Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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