We simulated two-dimensional pollutant transport in the tidal reach of the Han River and examined the mixing induced by reversed flow. We used the downstream water surface elevation to reflect the tidal constituents of the Yellow Sea when modeling the flow characteristics. We found that reversed flows were repeatedly created and destroyed as the tide varied. The reversed flow affected the spatial variation of the dispersion coefficients and caused the lateral fluctuations of the dispersion coefficient to increase. The change in the flow direction was related to oscillatory variations in the concentration–time curves, and the horizontal recirculation zone at the front of the reversed flow became a storage area where the pollutant cloud was trapped. The concentration–time curves showed oscillatory changes that corresponded with the temporal variations of the flow direction, and the amplitude of the oscillations gradually decreased. The increases in the time for which the polluted water was retained at the riverine parks can be explained by the oscillations on the falling limb of the concentration curves.

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