Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Purpose and focus of SIG

Environmental Fluid Mechanics (EFM) traditionally focuses on physical and biogeochemical processes involved with mixing and dispersion in coastal area, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and in the atmospheric boundary layer. Environmental fluid mechanics is a challenging discipline, because it involves, at the same time, deep knowledge of fundamental processes, like, among the others, turbulence in stratified and rotating systems, shallow flows, sediment resuspension transport and deposition, vortex dynamics, dynamics of jets and plumes, turbulence closures, wave phenomena. In EFM, development of numerical algorithms and numerical methodologies are required, incorporating interaction between different phases in the flows field as well as bio-chemical transformations in water and air, and application of this theoretical knowledge to applicative problems. 

Furthermore, in recent years, a new interest has raised in the energy conversion systems. This is related to the accessibility of large regions where abundant energy resource is present in the form of wind, waves and tidal currents (the latter ones in marine systems). The environmental impact of such systems can be maintained small provided that an accurate design is carried out. The recent development of innovative design procedures for offshore wind turbine, wave energy converters and tidal turbines opened new perspective for marine energy conversion especially when considering the massive energy production of the offshore wind power plant or the advantageous use of wave energy converters or tidal turbines for feeding remote islands with sustainable energy. The main scope of SIG5 is to bring togethers scientists and practitioners participating within this EFM network to exploit problems and ideas to be developed within a European environment.

The following topics will be of interests to the SIG5:


Thermal convection, stable stratification, rotating systems, shallow flows, wind, waves and tidal currents energy conversion, dynamics of jets and plumes, Lagrangian dispersion, turbulence closure for environmental applications, wave phenomena, dynamics of the stable boundary layer, sediment resuspension and transport, biological and chemical transformations in environmental flows, bridging scales in environmental and marine energy applications (from DNS to LES and RANS), dedicated numerical algorithms, experimental technique in small scale laboratories and in real fields.


Air quality prediction and analysis:

  • Heat islands (urban areas), 
  • dispersion in build environment from aerosols to large-scale turbulence, 
  • chemical transformations in the atmospheric boundary layer, 
  • wind turbines (onshore and offshore) efficiency and their own environmental impact.

Water quality prediction and analysis:

  • Water reprocessing, 
  • sediment transport, 
  • management of coastal areas and lakes, 
  • biological transformations and chemical reactions in water basins, 
  • water discharge in water basins,
  • Inland and water turbines and wave energy converters for energy production.