Passive Artificial Ventilation of Hypoxic Estuarine Benthic Environments: A Feasibility Study


  • L.D. Wright
  • G.C. Greene
  • J.P.-Y Maa
  • S. Siddiqi


Low dissolved oxygen, wings, wake vortices, destratification


The feasibility of utilizing buoyant moored underwater wings to ventilate benthic environments in estuaries was explored by way of a pilot field and modeling study. The concept involves reduction of stratification and downward advection of water by lift-generated vortex wakes. Results show that stable wings, that produce high lift at low Reynolds numbers, can be constructed and deployed relatively simply and that such wings generate significant vortex circulation and descending wakes. Strong stratification increases the rate of wake decay; however, by deploying the wings beneath the level of maximum Brunt-Vaisala frequency the effectiveness of the wings is greatly increased.