Sulfur hexafluoride as a complementary method for measuring the extent of point-source thermal effluents

Tae-Wook Kim, Kitack Lee, Ki Tae Park, Miok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The transport and dilution dynamics of power-plant thermal effluent were measured for 10 consecutive days, between 25 June and 4 July 2006, by concurrently mapping the daily distributions of seawater temperature and concentrations of deliberately released sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ) within the tidal Kwangyang Bay on the southern coast of Korea. Estimates of the daily extent of the thermal plume based on temperature and SF 6 data showed distinct differences. These differences were particularly pronounced on sunny days during which solar radiation significantly heated river or bay waters moving across the tidal flats; in these cases, the estimates based on seawater temperature data were consistently greater than those based on SF 6 data, indicating considerable overestimates of the extent of the thermal plume when temperature data were used. The present results indicate that the concurrent use of seawater temperature and SF 6 data is a powerful method in determining the extent of thermal plumes, particularly for shallow areas in which the effects of solar heating lead to large uncertainties in temperature-based estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1302
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Air-sea gas exchange
  • Power plant
  • Solar heating
  • Sulfur hexafluoride
  • Thermal plume
  • Tidal flats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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