Modelling of Heavy Gas Plumes in a Water Channel

  • S. C. Cheah
  • S. K. Chua
  • J. W. Cleaver
  • A. Millward
Conference paper
Part of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics book series (IUTAM)


An experimental study has been made of the turbulent mixing of a negatively buoyant salt solution injected into a neutral unobstructed turbulent boundary layer in a water channel flow. Particular emphasis is placed on plumes developed from low momentum sources fitted flush to the surface.

Flow visualisation and conductivity probes, to measure the mean concentration have allowed plume boundaries to he determined for a wide range of flow velocities, source flow rates, density ratios, source sizes and differing surface roughnesses. Ground level concentration profiles indicate a two stage decay which becomes more pronounced as the relative heaviness of the plume is increased.

A comparison of plume boundary data and mean concentration data with available wind and water tunnel data show reasonable agreement and indicate that water channel modelling of heavy gas spills may be an attractive alternative to wind tunnel modelling.


Wind Tunnel Water Channel Richardson Number Roughness Element Stage Decay 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hall, D. J; Barrett, C. F.; Ralph, M.O.: Experiments on a model of an escape of a heavy gas, Warren Springs Laboratory, Report No. LR217/AP (1974).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hall, D. J.: Further experiments on a model of an escape of heavy gas. Warren Springs Laboratory, Report LR312/AP (1979).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Neff, D. E.; Meroney, R. N.: The behaviour of L.N.G. vapour clouds: wind tunnel tests on the modelling of heavy plume dispersion. Chicago: Gas Research Institute Report No. 80 /145 (1982).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Britter, R. E.: The ground level extent of a negatively buoyant plume under a turbulent boundary layer. Atm. Environ. 14 (1980) 779–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Emblem, K.; Brovoll, T.; Skauvik, I.; Steinskog, T.: Gas dispersion physical models. River and Harbour Laboratory, Norwegian Institute of Technology (1979).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Preston, J. H.: The design of high speed, free surface water channels. Proceedings NATO Advanced Study Institute on Surface Hydrodynamics, Bressanone, Italy (1966) 1–82.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Millward, A.; Nicholson, K.; Preston, J. H.: The use of jet injection to produce uniform velocity in a high speed water channel. J. Ship Research 24, 2 (1980) 128–132.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Counihan, J.: An improved method of simulating a neutral atmospheric boundary layer in a wind tunnel. Atm. Environ. 3 (1969) 197–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cheah, S. C.; Cleaver, J. W.; Millward, A.: Water channel simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer. Atm. Environ. 8 (1983) 1439–1448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chua, S. K.: The dispersion of a negatively buoyant plume in a turbulent shear flow. Ph.D. Thesis (1982) University of Liverpool.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gibson, U. G.; Schwarz, W. H Detection of conductivity fluctuations in a turbulent flow field. J. Fluid Mechanics 16 (1963) 357–364.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Matsuda, T. et al: Fundamental studies on the diffusion of flammable gas from an area source. Mining and Safety (Japan) 23, 10 (1977) 1–15Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Randall, R. E.: Measurement of a negatively buoyant plume in the coastal water off freeport. Ocean Engineering 8, 4 (1981) 407–419.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Neff, D. E.; Meroney, R. N.; Cermak, J. E.: Wind tunnel study of negatively buoyant plume due to an LNG spill. Colorado State University (1975) Report CER76-TIDEN-RNM-HEC22.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Turner, J. S.: Buoyancy effects in fluids. Cambridge University Press (1979).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Turner, J. S.: Jets and plumes with negative or reversing buoyancy. J. Fluid Mechanics 26 (1966) 779–792.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Cheah
    • 1
  • S. K. Chua
    • 1
  • J. W. Cleaver
    • 1
  • A. Millward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of LiverpoolLiverpoolEngland

Personalised recommendations