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Nearshore Pollution Transport Mechanisms due to the effects of Waves and Currents

The nearshore zone experiences pollutant loading through both the shoreline and seaward boundaries. From the seaward boundary, pollutant loading is transported landward towards the surfzone by the so-called Stokes drift effect. From the shoreline boundary, runoff pollution, which can contain faecal indicator bacteria and human viruses can drain into the surfzone. Consequently, pollution can congregate in the nearshore region, and as such the water quality can affect the health of the general public who frequent beaches and is seen as a global problem.

However, the key mass exchange processes related to pollutant transport and dilution within the nearshore water body are still not fully understood. Given that about 40% of the world’s population (~3billion people) lives within 100 kilometres of the coast, understanding the nearshore pollution transport mechanisms is vital to improve the water quality modelling.

The pioneering Royal society works of Svendsen & Putrevu (1994) identified the temporally-averaged dispersion, as a function of distance from the shore. Using a combination of experimental, mathematical and numerical formulations, Dr Abolfathi will present the temporal and spatial dispersive mixing processes in the nearshore, within the challenging and complex environment of the surf zone.