On the Meandering and Dispersion of a Plume of Floating Particles Caused by Langmuir Circulation and a Mean Current

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  • 1 Department of Oceanography, The University, Southampton, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Simple analytical models are devised to describe the dispersion of a plume of buoyant material from a fixed source on the sea surface under the action of both mean current and the spatially variable flows induced by Langmuir circulation. A “free” plume meanders at source and later becomes broken into bands lying in the convergence regions produced in the circulation pattern. A model is used to compare free plume dispersion and that in which the floating material is constrained to lie in a band along the water surface, as described in a recent study by Therpe and Curé.

Abstract

Simple analytical models are devised to describe the dispersion of a plume of buoyant material from a fixed source on the sea surface under the action of both mean current and the spatially variable flows induced by Langmuir circulation. A “free” plume meanders at source and later becomes broken into bands lying in the convergence regions produced in the circulation pattern. A model is used to compare free plume dispersion and that in which the floating material is constrained to lie in a band along the water surface, as described in a recent study by Therpe and Curé.

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