Numerical Modeling of Contaminant Fate and Transport Processes In Open-Channel Networks


Dr. Mustafa M. Aral and Dr. Yi Zhang
Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332

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A solute transport model, which includes transient storage effects is developed to analyze contaminant transport problems in open-channel networks. With an explicit junction solution derived, this model, in conjunction with the hydrodynamic model developed earlier, can easily be applied to evaluate solute transport and fate processes in open-channel networks under unsteady flow regime. Furthermore, a contaminant-sediment interaction model, which includes various physical and chemical processes and a transient storage mechanism was developed for modeling transport and fate of radionuclides, trace metals and toxic chemicals in streams. A fractional-step algorithm which combines the relaxation scheme and a central difference scheme was proposed for the solution of the transport equation. The algorithm provides stable solutions for transport process with a dominant advection term. Through application in several test cases and field problems, the usefulness, accuracy and efficiency of the proposed models and algorithms were demonstrated. Finally, a computer modeling system (RiverNET) with a user-friendly graphic interface was developed for contaminant transport and fate in open-channel networks.

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