Optimisation of artificial upwelling

Kai Graf, Fachhochschule Kiel

“We will investigate the hydrodynamics of artificial upwelling systems and optimize their design. To this end we will develop and apply flow simulation methods capable to take into account the flow characteristics of artificial upwelling systems, e.g. turbulence models for density stratified flow, and methods for media and nutrient transport.”

This work package aims to investigate and optimise the fluid mechanical processes of artificial upwelling. In particular, this means that the transport of inorganic nutrients in the oceanic deep water to the light-flooded surface layer should be maximised. This is the basis for triggering a biological or biochemical process of CO2 sequestration. WP 1 will focus on the further development of a simulation system, already developed in preliminary work, and its application to optimise the topology and operational parameters of the upwelling pump. Our previous work based on the OpenFOAM© framework will serve as a starting point for the development of a solution approach that can realistically model the following features of oceanic flow:

  • Free surface flow
  • Nutrient transport
  • Energy and salinity transport for consideration of the sealing layer

A number of modelling and algorithm development challenges must be addressed to enable simulations with the desired accuracy.