Plumes: Causes and Its Types.

Plumes: Causes and its types-Civillatest

Plumes are the behavior of the pollutants from the smokestack at the time of dispersion in the atmosphere. It is a part of air pollution meteorology.

This occurs due to the critical relationship between atmospheric stability and pollutant concentrations. It doesn’t allow smoke to directly go to the upper atmosphere as it disperses on the ground level.

Therefore, as a result, it affects human health and the environment very badly. It can easily be visualized by the naked eye in the form of emissions from the smokestack.

The plumes are the emissions from the industrial smokestack. These are further classified into further six main types of plumes.

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Plumes: Its causes and types- Civillatest

Causes of Plumes

There are several causes for plumes, these are as follows:-

Atmospheric Instability

Atmospheric instability is the main reason for the cause of the plumes, as the inhibiting vertical mixing of the air is very important for stable atmospheric conditions.

Atmospheric instability is caused by improper atmospheric temperature and pressure. Due to this, the improper vertical movement of the air occurs on the earth’s surface.

There are several more factors like differential heating which is responsible for keeping the atmosphere stable.

Differential heating is the property of anything by which it absorbs, stores, radiated the sun energy. It is the same to occur on the earth surfaces.

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Wind Speed

Wind speed is inversely proportional to the pollutant concentration, the higher the wind speed, the lesser the pollutant concentration.

Wind speed is associated with the horizontal movement of the atmosphere. Pollutant concentration is basically determined by measuring wind speed.

There are several ways to measure the wind speed, the most common way is to use an anemometer. Anemometer help to measure the wind speed as it has four cups attached to the propeller.

Which rotates as wind strikes it. Its velocity is increased or decrease with the velocity of the wind.

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Wind Direction

Wind direction plays a significant role in the study of the pattern of the wind throughout the year.

This helps to study the seasonal patterns of the wind direction. Industries use them to know the pattern of the wind, so they can reduce the pollution in their surrounding environment.

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Types of Plumes

There are basically six types of plumes, these are as follows:-

  • Looping Plumes.
  • Lofting Plumes.
  • Fanning Plumes.
  • Coning Plumes.
  • Trapping Plumes.
  • Fumigating Plumes.
  1. Looping Plumes:- Pollution that release from the smokestack in the unstable atmosphere is known as looping plumes.
    The environmental lapse rate is more than the dry adiabatic lapse rate, then as a result, looping plumes are formed.
  2. Lofting Plumes:- These are the plumes which usually seen in the stable atmosphere and warm air is above the cold. The released inversion pollutant are remained trapped in the atmosphere. Thus,
     super adiabatic lies above sub adiabatic environment.
  3. Fanning Plumes:-In this type of plumes, flat emission of plumes occur from the smokestack. Thus, the environment lapse rate is under the sub adiabatic environment.
  4. Coning Plumes:- It is created int he slightly unstable conditions, and it can be visualized as the large puffs from the smokestack. These are basically formed in the partial cloudy days.
    Environmental lapse rate becomes slightly less than the Dry Adiabatic Lapse, which automatically comes under the sub adiabatic environment.
  5. Trapping Plumes:- It is formed mostly at the sunny days when clouds are very less. It is formed when the inversion layer is formed above and below the plume.
    Thus, super adiabatic lies between two inversion layers.
  6. Fumigating Plumes:- It occurs when pollutant released under the inversion layer. The pollutants descend onto the ground, and it is very disastrous for the environment as well as humans.
    It is basically the reverse of the lofting plumes.

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Last words

This article is all about plumes, their causes and their types. Plumes is a very small part of air pollution meteorology. It plays a significant role while studying the cause and patterns of air pollution.

If you have any queries regarding this article, please comment below.

By Shivansh Sharma

Shivansh Sharma is a Civil Engineer who is a Structural Engineering enthusiast, Blogger, and learner. Pursuing M. Tech (Structural Engineering). His project portfolios include 3 Residential projects and 1 commercial project. His knowledge of Rehabilitation of structures, Concrete, Steels and construction techniques allows him to help clients to meet their needs. Being a nature lover If he isn't working you will probably find him in the garden with his plants.

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