Traveltime and dispersion in the Shenandoah River and its tributaries, Waynesboro, Virginia, to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4065

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Two traveltime and dispersion measurements using rhodamin dye were conducted on a 178-mile reach of the Shenandoah River between Waynesboro, Virginia, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The flows during the two measurements were at approximately the 85% and 45% flow durations. The two sets of data were used to develop a generalized procedure for predicting traveltimes and downstream concentrations resulting from spillage of water soluble substances at any point along the river reach studied. The procedure can be used to calculate traveltime and concentration data for almost any spillage that occurs during relatively steady flow between a 40% to 95% flow duration. Based on an analogy between the general shape of a time concentration curve and a scalene triangle, the procedures can be used on long river reaches to approximate the conservative time concentration curve for instantaneous spills of contaminants. The triangular approximation technique can be combined with a superposition technique to predict the approximate, conservative time concentration curve for constant rate and variable rate injections of contaminants. The procedure was applied to a hypothetical situation in which 5,000 pounds of contaminants is spilled instantaneously at Island Ford, Virginia. The times required for the leading edge, the peak concentration, and the trailing edge of the contaminant cloud to reach the water intake at Front Royal, Virginia (85 miles downstream), are 234,280, and 340 hrs, respectively, for a flow at an 80% flow duration. The conservative peak concentration would be approximately 940 micrograms/L at Front Royal. The procedures developed cannot be depended upon when a significant hydraulic wave or other unsteady flow condition exists in the flow system or when the spilled material floats or is immiscible in water. (Author 's abstract)

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Traveltime and dispersion in the Shenandoah River and its tributaries, Waynesboro, Virginia, to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey ; Open-File Services Section, Western Distribution Branch,
vi, 58 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.