Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Its Role in Solving Problems of Pollution in Lakes, Rivers and Coastal Waters
  • G. H. Jirka
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 409)


Environmental fluid mechanics has emerged as a strongly interdisciplinary re- search discipline over the last three decades. It is concerned with the understanding of the fluid motion and associated mass and heat transport processes that occur in the earth’s hydrosphere and atmosphere on local and regional scales. In this article three examples drawn from the author’s own research on environmental fluid mechanics are presented. The examples are: (i) gas transfer at the air-water interface of water bodies, (ii) turbulence structure and pollutant transport processes in shallow flows, and (iii) development of engineering expert systems for planning and prediction of pollutant releases into diverse water bodies.


Coherent Structure Environmental Fluid Transfer Velocity Buoyant Surface Shallow Flow 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abdelwahed, M.S.T., and Chu, V.H. (1968). Surface Jets in Plumes and Crossflows. Technical Report, 81–1 (FML), McGill University, Montreal.Google Scholar
  2. Alavian, V., and Chu, V.H. (1985). Turbulent exchange in shallow compound channel. In Proceedings 21 Congress International Association of Hydraulic Research, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  3. Asher, W. E., and Pankow, J. F. (1986). The interaction of mechanically generated turbulence and interfacial films with a liquid phase controlled gas/liquid transport process. Tellus, 38B, 305–318.Google Scholar
  4. Batchelor, G.K. (1969). Computation of the energy spectra in homogenous two-dimensional turbulence. Physics of Fluids, 233–238.Google Scholar
  5. Benilov, AY., Kouznetsov, O.A., and Panin, G.N. (1974). On the analysis of wind wave-induced disturbances in the atmospheric turbulent surface layer. Boundary Layer Meteorology, 6, 269–285.Google Scholar
  6. Brocard, D.N. (1985). Surface buoyant jets in steady and reversing crossflows. Journal of HydraulicEngineering, 111(5).Google Scholar
  7. Broecker, Ch. (1982). The influence of bubbles upon gas exchange. In NATO Advanced Study Institute on Air-Sea Exchange of Gases and Particles, Durham, New Hampshire.Google Scholar
  8. Broecker, W.S., and Peng, T.-H. (1982). Tracers in the Sea, Eldigio Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brumley, B.H. and Jirka, G.H. (1987). Near-surface turbulence in a grid-stirred tank. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 183, 235–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brumley, B.H., and Jirka, G.H. (1988). Air-water transfer of slightly soluble gases: turbulence, interfacial processes and conceptual models. Journal of Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics, 10, 3, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. Brutsaert, W., and Jirka, G.H., Eds, (1984). Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  12. Chen, D. and Jirka, G.H. (1991). Pollutant mixing in wake flows behind islands in shallow water. In Proceedings Int. Symp. on Environmental Hydraulics (J.H.W. Lee and Y.K. Cheung, Eds), Balkema, 371–377.Google Scholar
  13. Chen, D. and Jirka, G.H. (1995). Experimental study of plane turbulent wake in a shallow water layer. Fluid Dynamics Research, 16, 11.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, D. and Jirka, G.H. (1997). Absolute and convective instabilities of plane turbulent wakes in a shallow water layer. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 338, 157–172.MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen, D. and Jirka, G.H. (1998). Linear instability analyses of turbulent mixing layers and jets in shallow water layers. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 36, No.5, 815–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chen, D. and Jirka, G.H. (1999). A laser-induced fluorescence study of a plane shallow jet. Journal ofHydraulic Engineering (in press).Google Scholar
  17. Chu, C.-R. (1993). Experiments on gas transfer and turbulence structure in free surface flows with combined wind/bottom shear. Ph.D. Thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Chu, C.-R., and Jirka, G.H. (1992). Turbulent gas flux measurements below the air-water interface of a gridstirred tank. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 35 (8), 1957–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chu, V.H. and Babarutsi, S. (1988). Confinement and bed-friction effects in shallow turbulent mixing layers. Jounrnal of Hydraulic Engineering, 114, 1257–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chu, V.H., and Jirka, G.H. (1986). Buoyant surface jets and plumes in environmental fluid mechanics. Chapter 27 in Encyclopedia of Fluid Mechanics. N. Cheremisinoff (Ed.), Gulf Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  21. Chu, V.H., Wu, J.H. and Khayat, R.E. (1983). Stability of turbulent shear flows in shallow channel. In Proceedings XX Congress IAHR, Moscow, 3, 128–133.Google Scholar
  22. Coantic, M. (1980). Mass transfer across the ocean-air interface: small scale hydrodynamic and aerodynamic mechanisms. Journal of Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics, 1, 249–279.Google Scholar
  23. Commission of the European Communities (1997). Proposal for a counsel directive establishing a framwork for Community action in the field of water policy. COM(97) 47 final, Brussels.Google Scholar
  24. Davies, A.E., Keffer, J.F. and Baines, W.D. (1975). Spread of a heated plane turbulent jet. Physics ofFluids, 18, 770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Deacon, E.L. (1977). Gas transfer to and across an air-water interface. In Tellus, 29, 363–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Doneker, R.L., and Jirka, G.H. (1991). Expert Systems for Design and Mixing Zone Analysis of Aqueous Pollutant Discharges. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 117, No. 6, 679–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dracos, T., Giger, M. and Jirka, G.H. (1992). Plane Turbulent Jets in a Bounded Fluid Layer. Journalof Fluid Mechanics, 214, 587–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fischer, H.B., List, E.J., Koh, R.C.Y., Imberger, J., and Brooks, N.H. (1979). Mixing in Inland andCoastal Waters. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Fortescue, G.E., and Pearson, J.R. (1967). On gas absorption into a turbulent liquid. Chemical EngineeringScience, 22, 187–216.Google Scholar
  30. Giger, M., Dracos, T. and Jirka, G.H. (1991). Entrainment and mixing in plane turbulent jets in shallow water. Journal of Hydraulics Research, 29, No.4, 615–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hardy, J.T. (1982). The sea surface microlayer: Biology, chemistry and anthropogenic enrichment Progress inOceanography, 11, 307–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hayashi, T., and Shuto, N. (1967). Diffusion of warm water jets discharged horizontally at water surface. In Proceedings 12th Congress of the International Association of Hydraulic Research, Fort Collins, Colorado.Google Scholar
  33. Hoover, T.E., and Berkshire, D.C. (1969). Effects of hydration on carbon dioxide exchange across an air-water interface. Journal of Geophysical Research, 74, 456–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hopfinger, E. J., and Toly, J. A. (1976). Spatially decaying turbulence and its relation to mixing across density interfaces. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 78, 155–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Huerre, P., and Monkewitz, P.A. (1990). Local and global instabilities in spatially developing flows. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 22, 473–537.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hunt, J. C. R. (1984). Turbulence structure and turbulent diffusion gas-liquid interface, Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  37. Hunt, J. C. R., and Graham, J. M. R. (1978). Free-stream turbulence near plane boundaries. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 84, 209–235.MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  38. Hussain, A.K.M.F. (1983). Coherent structures — reality and myth. Physics of Fluids, 26, 2816–2850.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  39. Ingram, R.G., and V.H. Chu (1987). Flow around islands in Rupert Bay: An investigation of the bottom friction effect. Journal of Geophysical Research, 92(C13), 14521–14533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jahne, B., et al. (1987). On the parameters influencing air-water gas exchange. Journal of Geophysical Research, 92, C2, 1937–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Jahne, B., et. al. (1984) Wind/wave-tunnel experiment on the Schmidt number and wave field dependence of air/water gas exchange. In Gas Transfrr at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  42. Jahne, B., and Haußecker, H. (1998). Air-water gas exchange. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 30, 443–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jirka, G.H. (1994). Shallow Jets. In: Recent Advances in the Fluid Mechanics of Turbulent Jets and Plumes, P.A. Davies and M.J. Valente Neves (Ed.s), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  44. Jirka, G.H., Adams, V. and Stolzenbach, K.D. (1981). Properties of buoyant surface jets. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE, 107, HY 11.Google Scholar
  45. Jirka, G.H., and Brutsaert, W. (1984). Measurements of wind effects in water-side controlled gas exchange in natural rivers. In Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  46. Jirka, G.H., and Ho, A. W.-K. (1990). Gas transfer at the water surface: Measurements of gas concentration fluctuations. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 116, 6, 835–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jirka, G.H, Doneker, R.L, and Hinton, S.W. (1996). User’s Manual for CORM1X: A Hydrodynamic Mixing Zone Model and Decision Support System for Pollutant Discharges into Surface Waters. Technical Report, DeFrees hydraulics Laboratory, Cornell University (also published b y U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Technical Report, Environmental Research Lab. Athens, Georgia).Google Scholar
  48. Jones, G.R., Nash, J.D., and Jirka, G.H. (1996). CORMDG: An Expert System for the Analysis and Prediction of Buoyant Surface Discharges. Technical Report, DeFrees Hydraulics Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University (also published by U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency, Tech. Rep., Environmental Research Lab, Athens, Georgia).Google Scholar
  49. Kemp, M., and Boynton, W. (1980). Influence of biological and physical processes on dissolved oxygen dynamics in an estuarine system. Estuatine, Coastal and Marine Science, 1, 407–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kitaigorodskii, S.A. (1984). On the fluid dynamical theory of turbulent gas transfer across an air-sea interface in the presence of breaking wind-waves. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 4, 960–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kraichnan, R. (1967). Inertial ranges in two-dimensional turbulence. Physics of Fluids, 10, 1417–1428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lewis, W.K., and Whitman, W.G. (1924). Principles of gas absorption. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 16, 1215–1220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lion, L.W. (1984). The surface of the ocean. In Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, 1, Part C, O. Hutzinger, Ed., Springer.Google Scholar
  54. Liss, P.S. (1973). Processes of gas exchange across an air-water interface. Deep-Sea Research, 20, 221–238.Google Scholar
  55. Liss, P.S., and Slater, P.G. (1974). Flux of gases across the air-sea interface. Nature, 247, 181–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Liss, P.S., Balls, P.W., Martinelli, F.N., and Coantic, M. (1981). The effect of evaporation and condensation on gas transfer across and air-water interface. Oceanological Acta, 4, 129–138.Google Scholar
  57. Lloyd, P.M. and Stansby, P.K. (1997a). Shallow-water flow around model conical islands of small side slope. I: Surface piercing. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 123, No. 12, 1057–1067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lloyd, P.M. and Stansby, P.K. (1997b). Shallow-water flow around model conical islands of small side slope. II: Submerged. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 123, No. 12, 1068–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. MacDonald, D.G. and Jirka, G.H. (1997). Characteristics of headland wakes in shallow flow. In Proceedings XXVII Congress IAHR, San Francisco, Vol.1, 88–93.Google Scholar
  60. Mackay, D., and Yuen, A.T.K. (1983). Mass transfer coefficient correlations for volatilization of organic solutes from water. Environmental Science and Technology, 17, 211–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Marino, R., and Howarth, R.W. (1992). Atmospheric oxygen exchange in the Hudson River: dome measurements and comparison with other natural waters. Estuaries, 17.Google Scholar
  62. Melville, W.K., Rapp R.J., and Chan, E.-S. (1985). Wave breaking, turbulence and mixing. In The OceanSurface: Wave Breaking, Turbulent Mixing and Radio Probing, Y. Toba and H. Mitsuyasu, Ed.s, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  63. Merlivat, L., and Memery, L. (1983). Gas exchange across an air-water interface: experimental results and modeling of bubble contribution to transfer. Journal of Geophysical Research, 88C, 707–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Moog, D.B. (1995). Experiments on open channel gas transfer with large-scale roughness elements. Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar
  65. Moog, D.B., and Jirka, G.H. (1999a). Air-water gas transfer in uniform channel flow. Journal of HydraulicEngineering, 125, 1, 3–10.Google Scholar
  66. Moog, D.B., and Jirka, G.H. (1999b). Stream reaeration in non-uniform channel flow: Macro roughness enhancement. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 125, 1, 11–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Nash, J.D., and Jirka, G.H. (1996). Buoyant surface discharges in unsteady ambient flows. Dynamics ofAtmosphere and Oceans, 24, 75–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Nash, J.D., Jirka, G.H., and Chen, D. (1995). Large-scale planar laser-induced fluorescence measurements in turbulent density-stratified flows. Experiments in Fluids, 19, 297–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Nezu, I. und Nakagawa, H. (1993). Turbulence in Open-Channel Flows. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  70. O’Connor, D.J. (1983). Wind effects on gas-liquid transfer coefficients. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 109,731–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Quinn, JA., and Otto, N.C. (1971). Carbon dioxide exchange at the air-sea interface: Flux augmentation by chemical reaction. Journal of Geophysical Research, 76, 1539–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Ragas, A.M.J., Hams, J.L.M., and Leuvn, R.S.E.W. (1997). Selecting water quality models for discharge perrmtting. European Water Pollution Control, 7(5), 59–67.Google Scholar
  73. Rathbun, R.E. (1988). Discussion of “Flume tests on hydrocarbon reaeration tracer gases” by J.D. Bales and E.R. Holley. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 114, 2.Google Scholar
  74. Su, M.Y., Green, A.W., and Bergin, M.T. (1984). Experimental studies of surface wave breaking and air entrainment. In Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  75. Thames Survey Committee and Water Pollution Research Laboratory (1964). Effects of polluting discharges on the Thames estuary. London, 349–363.Google Scholar
  76. Theofanous, T.G. (1984). Conceptual models of gas exchange. In Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  77. Thomas, F. O. and Goldschmidt, V.W. (1986). Structural characteristics of developing turbulent planar jet. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 63, 227–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Uijttewaal, W.S.J., and Tukker, J. (1998). Development of quasi two-dimensional structures in a shallow free-surface mixing layer. Experiments in Fluids, 24, 192–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1981). Technical Support Document for Water Quality-basedToxics Control. Office of Water, Washington, DC, Report No. EPA 505/2–90–001.Google Scholar
  80. Van Heijst, G.J., Clerx, H. and Maassen, S. (1996). Stably stratified flow in a rectangular container: cell pattern formation and anomalous diffusion. In 5th IMA Conference on Stratified Flows, Dundee, Scotland.Google Scholar
  81. Wilhelms, S., and Gulliver, J., Eds, (1991). Proceedings of Second International Symposium on Gas Transferat Water Surfaces. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York.Google Scholar
  82. Wu, J. (1988). Bubbles in the near-surface ocean: A general description. Journal of Geophysical Research, 93, CL, 587–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. H. Jirka
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations