A Model to Investigate the Influence of Suspended Sediment on the Mass Transport of a Pollutant in Open Channel Flow

Date of Award

Spring 1977

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Chin Y. Kuo

Committee Member

William A. Drewry

Committee Member

Chester Grosch

Committee Member

Charles Whitlock

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54C43


The environmental impact of the transport of pollutants in open channel flow has for many years been of interest due to the continuous introduction of heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and other foreign substances into natural waterways. In order to fully understand this transport process, it-is necessary to examine the significance of its individual components. In the present study an explicit two-dimensional finite difference model, designed to investigate the influence of suspended sediment on the pollutant transport process, is presented. Specific attention is directed toward examining the role of suspended sediment in 1) the turbulent vertical transport mechanism in a stratified flow, and 2) pollutant uptake due to sorption. Results presented indicate that suspended sediment plays a major, role in the pollutant transport process, and subsequently, any meaningful attempt to model the fate of a pollutant in an alluvial channel must account for the presence of a suspended sediment concentration profile. Similarly, the vertical and longitudinal pollutant concentration distributions provided by the model may be utilized to improve upon the predictive capacities of existing water quality models.


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