Buoyant jets with two and three-dimensional trajectories
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Extensive experimental data is available from previous research into the behaviour of buoyant jets released into an unstratified ambient. The experimental data has been the basis for theoretical and numerical modelling work, and currently several numerical models exist that are employed in the design of engineering structures built for the disposal of wastewater in the ocean. However there are still flow configurations with limited or no available experimental data, and hence confidence in the use of the models under some circumstances is limited. These circumstances include two-dimensional trajectory flows that are discharged at oblique angles to the ambient and buoyant jet flows with three-dimensional trajectories. As part of the current project an experimental investigation is conducted into the behaviour of discharges that have either two-dimensional or three-dimensional trajectories, focussing particularly on those configurations with currently limited available experimental data. A light attenuation technique is developed for the investigation of such flows, largely because it enables the behaviour of discharges with three-dimensional trajectories to be recorded with relative ease. However, this technique provides integrated views of the flow and hence the interpretation of the integrated concentration data is aided by assumed mean cross-sectional concentration profiles. In the strongly advected region (with the exception of the weak-jet) a double-Gaussian approximation is shown to provide a reasonable representation of mean concentration profiles. In the weakly advected regions and the weak-jet region, it is well- known that a single Gaussian adequately represents the mean flow structure. A new numerical model, the Momentum Model, is developed to assist in the design and to monitor the performance of the experimental investigation. Unlike other models, the behaviour of the flow is determined by the relative magnitudes of the initial excess momentum flux, the buoyancy-generated momentum flux and the entrained ambient momentum flux. It is shown that ratios of these momentum fluxes are equivalent to the length-scales traditionally employed for this task. Predictions from the Momentum Model are compared with data from the current and previous experimental investigations and, in addition, predictions from two representative numerical models, VisJet and CorJet. Predictions from the Momentum Model are shown to be consistent with data for a wide variety of discharge configurations. These predictions are also generally consistent with those of VisJet and CorJet. However, the experimental results from the II buoyant jet discharged in a moving ambient show that the spreading rates of the strongly advected flows (puffs and thermals) differ, and while this difference is incorporated into the Momentum Model, it is not evident in the VisJet and CorJet predictions. Numerical model predictions of negatively buoyant discharges are shown to be inadequate. This discharge configuration is investigated in some detail experimentally and additional analytical solutions of the flow behaviour are developed to aid in the interpretation of the flow behaviour. The experimental results show that buoyancy-induced instabilities on the inner side of the jets, which generate additional vertical mixing, significantly alter the form of the mean concentration profiles in this region. This results in considerably higher integrated dilutions along the flow centreline. Another significant difference between the newly developed Momentum Model and the existing numerical models (VisJet and CorJet), is the approach taken to dealing with oblique discharges in a cross-flow. Experimental results in combination with additional analytical solutions show that for initial discharge angles of 20° and less, an oblique discharge in a cross-flow becomes a weak-jet in the strongly advected region, and for angles of 40° and above, the flow becomes a puff. The strongly advected behaviour predicted by the Momentum Model changes abruptly at the transition angle, and is reasonably consistent with the data. The gradual change in strongly advected behaviour employed by VisJet and CorJet does not appear to be appropriate in the puff region. Finally a preliminary experimental investigation of discharges with three-dimensional trajectories shows that there are significant discrepancies between the predicted behaviour and the experimental data. This is surprising given the numerical models are, for the most part, able to predict the behaviour of flows with two-dimensional paths with reasonable accuracy. It is evident that flows with three-dimensional paths are modified more severely by the different directions of the initial, buoyancy-generated, and entrained ambient momentum fluxes than the current models suggest.