Dissolution rate coefficients for surface slicks on rivers

David E. Hibbs, John S. Gulliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aqueous concentrations of oils, fuels and solvents resulting from riverine spills are highly dependent upon the dissolution rate coefficients, on which there is little information available. The water-film mass transfer rate coefficient was measured for the dissolution of a hexane slick in a stirred cylinder and in an oscillating grid chamber. In both devices, the turbulence was generated beneath the oil-water interface, similar to the bed-generated turbulence in rivers. The liquid-film coefficient was also measured during reaeration studies, conducted without a surface slick under the same conditions. In comparing the coefficients measured with a slick and without, the presence of the surface slick was found to have minimal impact on the water-film mass transfer coefficient after indexing properly with the Schmidt number. Thus, the dissolution rate coefficient for any compound can be easily predicted from the reaeration rate coefficient for a given river reach. Additionally, no scale effects were detected between the between the 4 L stirred cylinder and the 87 L oscillating grid chamber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1811-1816
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. BES-9522171 and by the University of Minnesota Graduate School through a doctoral dissertation fellowship. The authors wish to thank Joe Orlins for his help with the oscillating grid chambers.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Aeration
  • Dissolve
  • Grid
  • Hexane
  • Mass
  • Oil
  • Oscillating
  • Slick
  • Spill
  • Transfer


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