IMDC Releases Dredge Plume Research

A scientific research project was recently completed on “Numerical and Experimental Modelling of Near Field Overflow Dredging Plumes”, the International Marine and Dredging Consultants (IMDC) has announced.

IMDC staff member Boudewijn Decrop obtained a PhD for conducting this research in collaboration with universities UGent and KULeuven.

During his PhD research, Boudewijn Decrop executed both physical modelling and CFD modelling of the water-sediment-air mixture released when trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHD) use an overflow shaft to release excess water from the hopper.

The multi-phase CFD model takes into account the realistic shape of a TSHD, air bubble drag and propeller jets. The model was validated with laboratory data and with field data.

The CFD model was then applied in a large number of cases which gave insight in the influence factors of near-field plume dispersion. The large data-set of CFD results was used to fit and validate a simplified parameter model.

The much faster parameter model is coupled to hydrodynamic solvers to conduct far-field plume dispersion studies. The coupling of the detailed near-field plume model and the far-field plume model allows IMDC to conduct real-time forecasting simulations of dredging plume dispersion with significantly increased accuracy.

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