Wind tunnel simulation of plume dispersion at Syncrude Mildred Lake site

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  • The wind tunnel simulation of atmospheric dispersion on the Syncrude plant site encompassed four different problem areas: low level sources within the plant itself, the main stack plume, peak levels of time varying concentration, and the effect of wind shear on plume rise. For all of these studies the major variable was the location and height of the tailings pond dike, which will affect plume dispersion by the turbulence generated in its wake. All of these effects were studied using an 800:1 scale model of the plant site located in a simulated neutrally stable atmospheric boundary layer generated in a large wind tunnel. The model study was validated by comparing the measurements for flat terrain with established full scale correlations of atmospheric dispersion parameters such as plume rise and spreading rate. Because the wind remains attached to the downwind side of the tailings pond dike, avoiding a large flow separation and high turbulence levels, the tailings pond dike should have a negligible effect both on low level sources and on the main stack plume. In general, terrain effects will be much less important on determining maximum ground level concentrations than the trajectory and final rise of the buoyant jets which form low level and main stack plumes. In particular, further study is required to determine the plume break-up and final rise heights in neutral and unstable atmospheric conditions.

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    Conditions of Use Wilson, D.J., 1979. Wind tunnel simulation of plume dispersion at Syncrude Mildred Lake site. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta. Environmental Research Monograph 1979-1. 198 pp. Permission for non-commercial use, publication or presentation of excerpts or figures is granted, provided appropriate attribution (as above) is cited. Commercial reproduction, in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written consent. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the sole risk of the end user.