Modeling Sediment Detention Ponds Using Reactor Theory and Advection‐Diffusion Concepts

Bruce N. Wilson, Billy J. Barfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


An algorithm is presented to model the sedimentation process in detention ponds. This algorithm is based on a mass balance for an infinitesimal layer that couples reactor theory concepts with advection‐diffusion processes. Reactor theory concepts are used to (1) determine residence time of sediment particles and to (2) mix influent sediment with previously stored flow. Advection‐diffusion processes are used to model the (1) settling characteristics of sediment and the (2) vertical diffusion of sediment due to turbulence. Predicted results of the model are compared to those observed on two pilot scale ponds for a total of 12 runs. The average percent error between predicted and observed trap efficiency was 5.2%. Overall, the observed sedimentology values were predicted with reasonable accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-532
Number of pages10
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985


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