Human activity has an influence on the river and marine environments in many ways, including disposal of treated wastewater, resource exploitation and impacts of development on estuaries and coastal zones. Managing the use of water resources while maintaining environmental protection is a challenge, and FLOW-3D can play a valuable role in developing solutions. Specific examples using FLOW-3D to solve environmental problems include the improvement of separators used on oil production platforms, oil-spill modeling, and the improved design of ocean-going vessels. Growing human population and increased demand for fish has resulted in depletion of natural sources and consequent growth of mariculture (fish and shellfish farming). This has its own impacts on the marine environment, and FLOW-3D can help provide solutions that enable remedial action to be taken to minimize the environmental impact of these operations.
Tracers are a powerful tool to visualize the movement of fluids in environmental applications of FLOW-3D.
This animation shows the volume rendering capability in FlowSight, FLOW-3D‘s powerful postprocessor.
The simulation represents the flow of a contaminant released near the upstream bank of a stream. As the contaminant flows downstream, it is dispersed much differently throughout the depth of the stream due to flow variations vertically and horizontally. A strong cross-stream flow near the bottom causes a vertical mixing of the contaminant. This type of flow behavior would be very difficult to identify without the use of volume rendering. Traditional approaches to postprocessing such as iso-surfaces colored by contaminant do not easily allow such flow features to be identified.