Environmental Fluid Mechanics
The term environmental fluid mechanics refers to the branch of fluid mechanic, which deals with the study of water and airflow, the species they carry with them and how they interact with the engineering, biological, geological, and social systems found within the surface of the earth. The planet earth is closely connected to a regular flow of water and air around it. These are in the form of air quality, oceans, and the atmosphere. These flows are very important that for anything to exist and survive within the earth’s surface, it must be able to cope with this flow of the fluid system
Oceanologists, engineers, meteorologists, and geologists are very concerned with the motion of the environmental fluids forecasts of the ocean currents and weather are a major concern and the environmental fluids are the main transporters of the pollutants available in the earth’s surface(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Pollutants cause major effects on human beings and the environment, this has makes engineers, and biologists examine how to adjust the flow of the environmental fluids in order to reduce its negative impacts on the human race. They also study this flow of motion to establish ways in which degraded environment can be restored.
This branch of fluid mechanics is also of concern in that air quality around major cities and towns have a direct impact on the air pollution because it affects the flow of exhaust gases emitted from vehicles and movement of dusts in the environment. Flow of ground water is studies to understand the influence of pollutants on the quality of drinking water. Oil clean up and recovery has been successful due to the enormous study done on the porous media by geologists and other scientists(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Concerns also arise on the effects of climatic changes on the levels of large water bodies like the oceans and lakes. The increase temperature in the European content has seen meltdown of large part of ice in the north pole, this in turn lead to rise in the oceans, which might lead to destruction, disturbace to lives and even loss of life in severe cases.
Measures of Motion
The branch studies ground and underground water, streams, oceans, atmosphere, lakes, airflow and the spread of pollutants. The motion of the fluid movement maybe small scale measured in centimeters, large-scale motion almost as big as continent size. The large-scale motion explains the difficulties experienced by scientists in their efforts to fully understand the flow of the environmental fluids(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Initiating change to the flow of these fluids in the oceans and in the atmosphere, there must be a development of external and internal forces. The universal external forces comprises of the centrifugal forces, magnetic and electric forces, coriolis and the force of gravity. The internal forces, which are mainly friction and pressures, are generated on smaller scales. The sum of the internal and external forces is responsible for the rise of the current and wind levels.
Environmental fluid mechanics share the same foundation principles of conservation. The principles of conservation include the heat, mass, velocity and the concentrated species such as the aerosols, water, other gases, and humidity(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Sink terms and the formulation of the equation, together with their measures of motion are the major differences between the fluid mechanics and the environmental fluid mechanics .the main equations used include all the equations of spatial differential such as the diffusion and advection of the temperature and velocity.
It is important to study the physical processes surrounding the water and air motion because it helps the scientists to understand, protect, and make necessary improvements to the environment. The climatic changes always have major effects on the environment and the scientists carry out various studies to establish ways in which to correct the negative changes in the environment(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Various researches are done and mainly revolve around numerical, field studies, environmental and theoretical studies and are directed towards solving immediate or foreseen problems in the environment such prediction of natural calamities like the hurricane and restoration of degraded channels and zones. Energy generation and global warming form the major concern of environmental fluid mechanics studies. Modeling such as the numerical and physical is used together with global circulation models to establish the best strategies, which would be used to minimize the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment.
Trends in the interactions of wave motion, wave current, and wave body with the lower boundaries together with the transported and deposited materials have also been of concern lately in the environmental fluid mechanics(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Better understanding of such fluid motions are aimed at helping scientists predict major wave actions and take necessary steps whenever applicable. An example of a beneficiary to the study of wave action is the Venice Lagoon, which the scientists were able to protect from a wave action, which might have led to its destruction. Sea grass and marsh vegetations at the oceans have been used to reduce the surge of storm and waves, this in turn protect the coastal regions and improve clarity of water around these areas.
Problems, which are mainly connected to the increased industrialization, aimed at achieving economic development and improving the quality of human life many increasing fluid flow. The results are mainly and revolve around pollution, negative impacts on the environment, noise from machines and automobiles, reduced water supply(McGraw-Hill. N.p). Accident cases and safety issues are some of the concern of environmental fluid mechanics, the increased speed by which people and goods are moved between cities lead to accidents because it fails to obey the flow of air in the environment. Small fire in the forest sometimes turns out to be a national disaster because air motion, in form of wing helps it to spread faster and cause huge damage on the environment. Escape of dangerous liquids and gas into the environment, especially for people living near chemical plants lead to health hazards.
Harmful concentrations in a fluid may be a health hazard, for example, too much lead in the environment can be disastrous especially when it combines with rainwater. Sea plants and animals are at risk of the increased water pollution, which deny them the fresh water necessary for their survival. The disturbance on the natural flow of fluids is responsible for the disaster like the Hurricane and Tsunami, which have claimed so many human lives. The study of environmental mechanics should therefore find ways in which to restore the imbalance in the ecosystem and help stop or minimize the consequences of environmental degradation. There is a great need to control the flow of fluids in the environment and that is the main concern of environmental fluid mechanics.
McGraw-Hill . Environmental fluid mechanics. Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. 2002.Interner Resource. Available at < http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/environmental+fluid+mechanics>