Simulations of dye releases off the coast of New Jersey: Development and validation of an ocean outfall mixing model

Christopher C. Obropta, Richard I. Hires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A kinematic mixing model has been developed to predict far field effluent distributions for ocean discharges. The model allows for complex outfall configurations and time varying discharge rates to be simulated. The model can use field observations or the output from a proven near field mixing model as input to this far field mixing model. The model uses observed or simulated horizontal currents at one location to advect the effluent plume and a scale-dependent "diffusion velocity" submodel to account for horizontal diffusive processes. To collect data to calibrate and verify the model, long-term continuous dye release experiments were conducted at two New Jersey ocean outfalls. Based upon the results of the dye release experiments, appropriate values for the diffusion velocity were determined for each outfall. Simulations using these diffusion velocities provided reasonable predictions of plume width and of average dye concentration at each transect for each outfall. This work demonstrates that an Eulerian velocity observed at one location in the coastal ocean off New Jersey may be used to predict Lagrangian transport over a distance of several kilometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Diffusivity
  • Dilution
  • Dyes
  • Mixing
  • New Jersey
  • Oceans
  • Simulation


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