School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

Postgraduate research

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Current and completed research by our postgraduate students.

Contact

Joey Voermans

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 7359
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1015


Start date

Jan 2014

Submission date

Jan 2018

Joey Voermans

Thesis

Flow and mixing at the sediment water interface

Summary

The interface separating the bed of sediments from the water column is the site of several physical and chemical processes that are of key importance in the nutrient and contaminant cycling of aquatic systems. Our understanding of these processes at the sediment-water interface are however limited and current models show a lack of insight into the fluid mechanics of the interface. The purpose of this project is to gain a fundamental understanding of the flow and mixing at the sediment-water interface by means of an experimental investigation. In particular, the generation of coherent structures at the interface and their impact on the transport of solutes from the porewater to the overlying water column. By approaching the phenomenon from a fundamental perspective, we will not only be able to show the existence of coherent structures at the interface, but will incorporate a description of these structures into an improved model for the prediction of solutes across the sediment-water interface.

Why my research is important

The interface separating the sediments from the water column is the site of several physical and chemical processes. The composition of these two layers are generally very different, where the sediments are usually characterized by elevated levels of nutrients and contaminants while the water column is responsible for the provision of oxygen. The extent to which the sediments can impact the water column is dictated by the rate at which these properties are transferred across the interface. A disturbance in the composition of porewater can lead to changes in the complete ecosystem, such as dead zones (hypoxia). Monitoring the water quality of aquatic systems can help us protecting these systems. However, our current approach in examining the interfacial fluxes fails to give a proper representation of the exchange of solutes, it is therefore fundamental to get new insight in the flow and mixing characteristics at the sediment-water-interface.


 

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Last updated:
Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM

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