The influence of pool-riffle morphological features on river mixing
Fuentes Aguilera, Patricio
Caamaño Avendaño, Diego
DescriptionArtículo de publicación ISI
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Accurate prediction of pollutant concentrations in a river course is of great importance in environmental management. Mathematical dispersion models are often used to predict the spatial distribution of substances to help achieve these objectives. In practice, these models use a dispersion coefficient as a calibration parameter that is calculated through either expensive field tracer experiments or through empirical equations available in the scientific literature. The latter are based on reach-averaged values obtained from laboratory flumes or simple river reaches, which often show great variability when applied to natural streams. These equations cannot directly account for mixing that relates specifically to spatial fluctuations of channel geometry and complex bed morphology. This study isolated the influence of mixing related to bed morphology and presented a means of calculating a predictive longitudinal mixing equation that directly accounted for pool-riffle sequences. As an example, a predictive equation was developed by means of a three-dimensional numerical model based on synthetically generated pool-riffle bathymetries. The predictive equation was validated with numerical experiments and field tracer studies. The resulting equation was shown to more accurately represent mixing across complex morphology than those relations selected from the literature.