5R61. Environmental Fluid Mechanics. - H Rubin (Dept of Civil Eng, Technion-Israel Inst of Tech, Technion City, Haifa, 320 00, Israel) and J Atkinson (Dept of Civil, Struct, and Env Eng, SUNY, Buffalo NY). Marcel Dekker, New York. 2001. 728 pp. ISBN 0-8247-8781-1. $150.0.
Reviewed by B Sanderson (Sch of Sci and Tech, Univ of Newcastle, PO Box 127, Central Coast Campus, Quimbah, NSW, 2258, Australia).
This book has a broad scope and is written from an engineering perspective. The book is written in two parts. Part 1 covers the development of the fundamental equations and dynamical systems that focus on common simplifications to the fundamental equations. Part 2 deals with application to numerous environmental systems that are often of concern to engineers, such as: Groundwater, air-water exchanges, effluents and buoyant plumes, sediment transport, and remedial treatment of contaminated water bodies.
Scanning my bookshelves, this reviewer sees many specialized books in fluid mechanics and computational methods with titles that read like headings for chapters or subsections of Environmental Fluid Mechanics. On the other hand, environmental readers with a more biological bent will have to search elsewhere [1,2] for material relating to the fluid mechanics of organisms.
Rubin and Atkinson have written a book that would serve well as a text for several introductory courses in environmental fluid mechanics from an engineering perspective. Many worked problems are included with each chapter. Diagrams illustrate much of the text and many of the problems. Worked problems serve to beautifully illustrate and further develop material in the text. Problems are thematic and provide a contiguous learning experience for students. Unsolved problems and targeted suggestions for further reading serve as a launching point for more specialized studies.
Treatment of topics such as suspended sediment transport and groundwater flow are substantially enhanced by their integration into a broad ranging text and development within the context of fundamental mathematics and fluid mechanics. This reviewer found the treatment of groundwater more insightful than one would expect from such a brief exposition—it almost renders redundant one specialist book on my shelf. Occasionally, however, brevity leads to unbalanced treatment. For example, a reasoned exposition of vertical circulation associated with wind forced set-up in a lake is associated with an unexplained and potentially misleading diagram of horizontal circulation. Discussion of topics indicates the extent to which knowledge is derivable from basic laws, or empirical. The authors are to be congratulated for illustrating many of the topics with numerical models. Numerical methods are often rudimentary, but they are sufficient for the problems addressed and are thoughtfully used to calculate specific solutions to fluid mechanical problems.
Technically, the book is well prepared with a logical sequence for development of topics, a useful subject index, and clear figures. Minor typographical errors might cause some confusion. Viscosity, for example, is sometimes given the same symbol as the y-component of velocity and some references to equation numbers are incorrect. But these are minor issues when placed in the context of what is otherwise a lucid presentation. This reviewer recommends Environmental Fluid Mechanics as an appropriate text for several courses introducing topical subjects in environmental fluid mechanics. This book will prove a valuable acquisition for teachers, students, and libraries.