ENVE4403 Fluid Transport, Mixing and Dispersion

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
The aim of this unit is to gain a quantitative knowledge of the fluid dynamics of both freshwater and marine environments. Topics covered include (1) physical laws governing fluid motion and exact solutions, an introduction to scaling as a means of simplifying complex equations; (2) introduction to turbulence—Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, basic statistical descriptions and concept of eddy viscosity, molecular versus turbulent diffusion; (3) mixing in rivers—boundary layers, velocity profiles, hydraulic jumps, transport equation, shear dispersion; (4) mixing in a density-stratified fluid—models of mixing, concept of mixing efficiency and mixing across density interfaces, applications to estuaries, the coastal ocean and lakes; and (5) turbulent jet, plume and buoyant jet dynamics for wastewater discharge design.
Students are able to (1) use figures and text to demonstrate their knowledge of fluid mechanics; (2) communicate a numeric solution to a fluid mechanics problem in a precise and logical fashion; (3) perform a laboratory experiment to discover knowledge pertaining to fluid mechanics; (4) use enquiry based thinking to investigate fluid mechanics problems; (5) quantitatively describe the dependence of open-channel flow on the bottom roughness, the cross-section, the Reynolds number and the Froude number; (6) distinguish between molecular diffusion, turbulent diffusion and shear dispersion and apply these concepts to quantify mass transport in open-channel flow; (7) use both the single mixing event model and the dynamic model to estimate the destabilising effects of shear in a stratified fluid; (8) apply knowledge of plume, jet and buoyant jets to estimate quantities such as the dilution of an emitted contaminant; and (9) explain the equations that govern fluid flow and the derivation of some solutions to these equations under simplified conditions.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) laboratories; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Marco Ghisalberti
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Environmental Engineering specialisation); for pre-2012 courses: (MATH2040 Engineering Mathematics
MATH2209 Calculus and Probability
MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2)
(ENVE2602 Environmental Fluid Mechanics
ENSC3010 Hyrdraulics). This unit is also available to students in the Master of Ocean Leadership with the approval of the course coordinator and completion of an undergraduate major in Engineering Science
Advisable prior study:
MATH1001 Mathematical Methods 1; ENSC3010 Hydraulics
ENVE3601 Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Contact hours
lectures: 2 per week; practical sessions: 2 per week; laboratories: two 3-hour sessions per semester

Fischer, H. B. et al. Mixing in Inland and Coastal Waters: Academic Press 1979

Fox, R. W., McDonald, A. T. and Pritchard, P. J. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 6th edn: Wiley 2004

Gerhart, P. M., Gross, R. J. and Hochstein, J. I. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 2nd edn: Addison-Wesley Publication 1993

Kundu, P. K. and Cohen, I. M. Fluid Mechanics, 3rd edn: Elsevier Academic Press 2004

Munson, B. R., Young, D. F. and Okiishi, T. H. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics: Wiley 2002

Tennekes, H. and Lumley, J. A First Course in Turbulence: MIT Press 1972


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.