A practical method was developed to estimate the areal extent of the plume associated with the overflow of dredged material during barge filling operations in shallow waters. The predictive model is based on the Okubo-Pritchard relationship for horizontal diffusion; it solves the transport equation which governs the distribution of total suspended solids or dissolved species. The model runs in a Personal Computer and provides the spatial distribution of particulate concentrations in the plume from minimum information on local hydrography, the intensity of advective and dispersive processes and the characteristics and discharge rate of the dredged material. The extent of the plume is defined as the isoline of acceptable concentration of a specified material. The rate of decay of the plume once the overflow terminates is also computed.

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