Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 231–246 | Cite as

Warm discharges in cold fresh water: 2. Numerical simulation of laminar line plumes

Original Article


The behaviour of a discharge of warm water upwards into a homogeneous body of cold fresh water was investigated by means of a numerical model. The discharge has a parabolic velocity profile, with Reynolds number \(Re=50\), Prandtl number \(Pr=7\) and Froude number varied over the range \(0.2 \le {\rm Fr} \le 2.5\). Water density is taken to be a quadratic function of temperature, so that an initially positively buoyant discharge will experience buoyancy reversal as it mixes with an ambient below the temperature of maximum density. The resulting plume has some similarities to a fountain resulting from injection of negatively buoyant fluid upward into a less dense ambient. The plume is initially symmetric, but then its head detaches as it approaches its maximum height. The detached head is denser than the fluid in the plume below it, and the interaction between the sinking head and the rising plume causes a sideways deflection; as this cycle is repeated, the plume displays side-to-side flapping motion and vertical bobbing. As Froude number is increased (i.e. buoyancy reduced) the growth of the plume becomes slower, but the plume eventually reaches a greater height. We obtain empirical power-law scalings for maximum height and time taken to reach that height as functions of Froude number; these scalings are simlar to those for fountains with a linear dependence of density on temperature in the very weak regime.


Cold water Line plume Buoyancy reversal Numerical simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesLoughborough UniversityLeicestershireUK

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