Overview of the Project
Flocs influence a wide array of environmental phenomena, from the transport and fate of sediments, contaminants and biological matter within rivers and estuaries, to the effective removal of impurities during industrial drinking and waste water treatment. Reliable models describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of flocs are therefore critical to making informed management decisions. Yet, flocs are highly dynamic and their physical properties (e.g., size, shape and structure etc.), which vary both spatially and temporally, often span several orders of magnitude in scale, i.e., the nanometre to millimetre-scale. This makes their characterisation for modelling problematic.
The 3D Flocs Project aims to use a suite of interdisciplinary imaging techniques combined with numerical modelling to answer how the physical properties of flocs affect their hydrodynamic behaviour and eventual fate, i.e. floc transport and mass settling flux.
Novelty of Project
To overcome the difficulties associated with sampling fragile flocs and measuring floc behaviour and 3D properties, the 3D Flocs Project utilises a novel multi-scale imaging workflow which permits floc structure-function relationships to be investigated in detail for the first time. The main aspects of this strategy are:
Aims of the Project
The two main research questions of the 3D Flocs Project are:
Research supported by: