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Characterising industrial thermal plumes in coastal regions using 3-D numerical simulations

Faulkner, A., Bulgin, C. E. and Merchant, C. J. ORCID: (2021) Characterising industrial thermal plumes in coastal regions using 3-D numerical simulations. Environmental Research Communications, 3 (4). ISSN 2515-7620

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/2515-7620/abf62e


Coastal power stations use sea water as a coolant, releasing it back into coastal environments at a higher-than-ambient temperature. Due to the possible ecological impacts on sensitive coastal zones, thermal plume formed by warmer coolant waters needs to be monitored, which is typically done through field campaigns. This paper assesses the use of simulations and remotely sensed observations as complimentary methods to characterise plume behaviour for a chosen coastal power station located within an inter-tidal embayment. Simulations of the thermal plume for two main tide phases and associated sea current conditions are validated against the high-resolution satellite observations. Simulated plume temperatures are higher than the observed values, with the biggest difference of 2°C. The direction of the simulated plume dispersion is in agreement with observations and depends on the strength and direction of sea currents associated with the phase of the tide. The plume stretches most at the surface with limited impact on the benthic temperatures.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:97457
Publisher:IOP Science


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