Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

Jaewan Yoon

Committee Member

Yaohang Li

Committee Member

Gangfeng Ma


The very nature of requirements for implementing a desalination process is highly spatial due to the need to secure both a source for the operation and sink for brine dilution. Thus, the applicable coastal location is bound to natural tidal mixing characteristics and subjected to a near- or a far-field availability for source and sink. Mixing characteristics of coastal waters are very different from one point to another due to the spatiotemporal tidal characteristic in loco in a manner that it can vary from being highly advective to completely dispersive dominant. Once a location is identified, estimation of corresponding water availability and demand and resultant adjective-dispersive mixing plume from desalination need to be evaluated. In this study, two different models, the steady-state Finite Segment Method (FSM) and the time-variant Analytical Method (AM), are proposed to simulate the brine plume dispersion process along with the tidally influenced flow with sloping seabed in near- and far-fields. Oscillating flow and flow reversals are also considered in the models using a harmonic function to reflect directional tidal currents. To select the most applicable model for a given site, a non-dimensional number for describing the in loco stability of advective-dispersive flux, the Shahvari-Yoon (SY) number, is proposed in this study to determine the range of applicability of FSM and AM models. Results from several comparative case studies of two implemented models indicate that the AM model can be applied for any SY number range of advective or advective-dispersive or dispersive dominant coastal region whereas the FSM model is found effective for a SY range equal to or less than zero which represents the advective or advective-dispersive dominant coastal region.


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