Trapped internal waves over undular topography in a partially mixed estuary
Source: Ocean Dynamics, Volume 54, Numbers 3-4, July 2004 , pp. 315-323(9)
Abstract:The flow of a stratified fluid over small-scale topographic features in an estuary may generate significant internal wave activity. Lee waves and upstream influence generated at isolated topographic features have received considerable attention during the past few decades. Field surveys of a partially mixed estuary, the Rotterdam Waterway, in 1987, also showed a plethora of internal wave activity generated by isolated topography, banks and groynes. Additionally it revealed a spectacular series of resonant internal waves trapped above low-amplitude bed waves. The internal waves reached amplitudes of 3–4 m in an estuary with a mean depth of 16 m. The waves were observed during the decreasing flood tide and are thought to make a significant contribution to turbulence production and mixing. However, while stationary linear and finite amplitude theories can be used to explain the presence of these waves, it is important to further investigate their time-dependent and non-linear behaviour. With the development of advanced non-hydrostatic models it now becomes possible to further investigate these waves through numerical experimentation. This is the focus of the work presented here. The non-hydrostatic finite element numerical model FINEL3D developed by Labeur was used in the experiments presented here. The model has been shown to work well in a number of stratified flow investigations. Here, we first show that the model reproduces the field data and for idealised stationary flow scenarios that the results are in agreement with the resonant response predicted by linear theory. Then we explore the effects of non-linearity and time dependence and consider the importance of resonant internal waves for turbulence production in stratified coastal environments.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Fluid Mechanics Section, Delft University of Technology, CiTG, Stevinweg 1, 2628, CN Delft, The Netherlands, Email: J.Pietrzak@citg.tudelft.nl 2: Fluid Mechanics Section, Delft University of Technology, CiTG, Stevinweg 1, 2628, CN Delft, The Netherlands,
Publication date: July 1, 2004