Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 846–854 | Cite as

Empirical model for estimating vertical concentration profiles of re-suspended, sediment-associated contaminants

  • H. W. Zhu
  • P. D. ChengEmail author
  • W. Li
  • J. H. Chen
  • Y. Pang
  • D. Z. Wang
Research Paper


Vertical distribution processes of sediment contaminants in water were studied by flume experiments. Experimental results show that settling velocity of sediment particles and turbulence characteristics are the major hydrodynamic factors impacting distribution of pollutants, especially near the bottom where particle diameter is similar in size to vortex structure. Sediment distribution was uniform along the distance, while contaminant distribution slightly lagged behind the sediment. The smaller the initial sediment concentration was, the more time it took to achieve a uniform concentration distribution for suspended sediment. A contaminants transportation equation was established depending on mass conservation equations. Two mathematical estimation models of pollutant distribution in the overlying water considering adsorption and desorption were devised based on vertical distribution of suspended sediment: equilibrium partition model and dynamic micro-diffusion model. The ratio of time scale between the sediment movement and sorption can be used as the index of the models. When this ratio was large, the equilibrium assumption was reasonable, but when it was small, it might require dynamic micro-diffusion model.


Sediment resuspension Pollutants Concentration distribution Desorption Partition coefficient 



The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 11502138), the National Key Research and Development Program (Grant 2016YFC0401500), and the National Water Pollution Control and Treatment Science and Technology Major Project (Grant 2012ZX07506-002b).


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics; Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. W. Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. D. Cheng
    • 3
    Email author
  • W. Li
    • 1
  • J. H. Chen
    • 1
  • Y. Pang
    • 2
  • D. Z. Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Shanghai Investigation, Design & Research Institute Co., LtdShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Science and EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory for Mechanics in Fluid Solid Coupling System, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  4. 4.Shanghai Institute of Applied Mathematics and MechanicsShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina

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