Computation of the mixing energy in rivers for oil dispersion

Michel C. Boufadel, John A. Reif, Faith Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The formation of oil droplet from an oil slick in rivers plays an important role in the transport and fate of oil. We provided a means to compute the mixing energy (energy dissipation rate) in streams, which is needed to estimate oil dispersion in streams. The formulation allows on to estimate the mixing properties of a stream based on easily measurable quantities, such as stream slope, average water speed, and the roughness coefficient. By assuming a roughness height at the streambed, one could also predict the value of the local energy dissipation rate at various depths. The formulation provides also a direct relation between the energy dissipation rate and the shear stress at the bottom of the stream. An example is provided for illustration, and it shows that for a stream that is 30 m wide and has a natural slope of 1/1000, the average energy dissipation rate is equal to 0.001 watt/kg and the maximum value is at the streambed and is around 0.01 watt/kg. The latter value is comparable to spilling breakers of 0.30 m high waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2016
Event39th AMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response - Halifax, Canada
Duration: Jun 7 2016Jun 9 2016


Other39th AMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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