Purging of density stabilised saline river ponds by freshwater overflows


This project will combine field work, laboratory and computational components.  The field and laboratory results will provide validation for the numerical model, which will in turn provide full details of the flow structure.  In particular the effect of channel curvature on the freshing, mixing and purging rate will be examined. The numerical investigations will be carried out using a state-of-the-art parallel Large Eddy Simulation code, running on shared and distributed memory high performance computing facilities.


Associate Professor Michael Kirkpatrick, Professor Steven Armfield

Research Location

Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Program Type



Saline ponds are ubiquitous in Australia's inland rivers and with their low oxygen and high salinity and nutrient levels are inimical to most riverine biota.  The stability of the ponds means that they can only be removed by a substantial flow event, but can then cause a severe oxygen sag in the downstream flow. Efficient management of river systems requires a detailed understanding of the fluid dynamics associated with the freshing, mixing and purging of such ponds generated by managed and natural flow events.  In this project a detailed investigation of the flow dynamics associated with such events will be carried out.

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salinity, river management, water quality, density stabilized interface, interfacial mixing, turbulence, Computational Fluid Dynamics, large eddy simulation, parallel computing

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 401

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