Dissolved oxygen transfer to sediments by sweep and eject motions in aquatic environments

Ben L. O'Connor, Miki Hondzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations were quantified near the sediment-water interface to evaluate DO transfer to sediments in a laboratory recirculating flume and open channel under varying fluid-flow conditions. DO concentration fluctuations were observed within the diffusive sublayer, as defined by the time-averaged DO concentration gradient near the sediment-water interface. Evaluation of the DO concentration fluctuations along with detailed fluid-flow characterizations were used to quantify quasi-periodic sweep and eject motions (bursting events) near the sediments. Bursting events dominated the Reynolds shear stresses responsible for momentum and mass fluctuations near the sediment bed. Two independent methods for detecting bursting events using DO concentration and velocity data produced consistent results. The average time between bursting events was scaled with wall variables and was incorporated into a similarity model to describe the dimensionless mass transfer coefficient (Sherwood number, Sh) in terms of the Reynolds number, Re, and Schmidt number, Sc, which described transport in the flow. The scaling of bursting events was employed with the similarity model to quantify DO transfer to sediments and results showed a high degree of agreement with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-578
Number of pages13
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


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