Plume dispersion measurements from and oil sands extraction plant, June 1977

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  • During June 1977, a plume survey field program was conducted about the Great Canadian Oil Sands (GCOS) site to determine the plume geometry and associated turbulent parameters. Airborne measurements were conducted by INTERA's research aircraft under various meteorological conditions co-ordinated with the June interagency field program. Four flights were selected for detailed analysis of plume geometry and turbulence characteristics. Analysis of the SO2 data included plume sigma and observed plume rise computation by several techniques, mass flux, and SO2 concentration isopleth analyses. Turbulence analyses included derivation of the environmental gust velocities and their time-domain statistics, autocorrelation analysis for integral scales, second-order structure function analysis for dissipation estimates, and spectral analysis. The turbulence data were applied to the statistical theory for lateral dispersion and gave remarkably good agreement except for the flight of 19 June. The vertical plume spread was not predicted well by the statistical theory. It was concluded that changes in integral scales, initial plume-induced turbulent mixing, and changes in stability with weight need to be simulated for reasonably accurate dispersion formulations.

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