The importance of flocculation in dredge plume modelling

Numerical models are often used to predict the magnitude and behaviour of dredge plumes to help assess and manage any environmental risks. To provide a realistic prediction of plumes resulting from dredging, numerical models require information on the rate at which sediment is suspended by the dredging, along with the characteristics of the suspended sediment. Previous investigations have shown that in the marine environment, fine-grained sediment suspended by natural processes and dredge-related activities are typically present as aggregated particles known as flocs. This article considers the importance of including the process of flocculation in dredge plume models.