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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Thermal Discharge from Coastal Nuclear Power Plants and Thermal Power Plants on the Thermocline Characteristics in Sea Areas with Different Tidal Dynamics

by Faming Huang 1,*, Jie Lin 1,2,3,* and Binxin Zheng 1
1
Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Xiamen 361005, China
2
School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
3
Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2577; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122577
Received: 2 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics)
The thermal discharge from coastal nuclear power plants and thermal power plants (CNATPP) not only increases the water temperature, but it also stratifies the seawater. Comprehending the characteristics of stratification that is caused by thermal discharge constitutes the basis for developing a comprehensive understanding of how thermal discharge affects marine organisms. The spatial and temporal characteristics of seawater stratification induced by thermal discharge were analyzed on the basis of measured data while using two study areas with different tidal dynamics as examples. The results showed the following. (1) Thermal discharge influenced the area within 3 km of the outlet. (2) In the East China Sea (which has strong tidal dynamics), the most significant stratification occurred 0.5 km–1.0 km from the outlet; however, in the South China Sea (which has weak tidal dynamics), the degree of stratification decreased with increasing distance from the outlet. (3) In the East China Sea (i.e., strong tidal dynamics), the depth of the thermocline during ebb tide gradually moved upward, while that during flood tide gradually moved downward, and the opposite was observed in the South China Sea (i.e., weak tidal dynamics). Finally, (4) the thermocline that was caused by thermal discharge mostly occurred at water depths above 7 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal discharge; stratification; coastal nuclear power plants and thermal power plants; tidal dynamic thermal discharge; stratification; coastal nuclear power plants and thermal power plants; tidal dynamic
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Huang, F.; Lin, J.; Zheng, B. Effects of Thermal Discharge from Coastal Nuclear Power Plants and Thermal Power Plants on the Thermocline Characteristics in Sea Areas with Different Tidal Dynamics. Water 2019, 11, 2577.

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