This work focuses on the study of thermal dispersion of plumes emitted by power plants into the sea. Wastewater discharge from power stations causes impacts that require investigation or monitoring. A study to characterize the physical effects of thermal plumes into the sea is carried out here by numerical modeling and field measurements. The case study is the thermal discharges of the Presidente Adolfo López Mateos Power Plant, located in Veracruz, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This plant is managed by the Federal Electricity Commission of Mexico. The physical effects of such plumes are related to the increase of seawater temperature caused by the hot water discharge of the plant. We focus on the implementation, calibration, and validation of the Delft3D-FLOW model, which solves the shallow-water equations. The numerical simulations consider a critical scenario where meteorological and oceanographic parameters are taken into account to reproduce the proper physical conditions of the environment. The results show a local physical effect of the thermal plumes within the study zone, given the predominant strong winds conditions of the scenario under study.
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