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 journalArticlepeer-review

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 (SF6) within the tidal Kwangyang Bay on the southern coast of Korea. Estimates of the daily extent of the thermal plume based on temperature and SF6 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 SF6 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 SF6 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
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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