Convectively driven coastal currents in a rotating basin
Density driven coastal currents were produced in the laboratory by differentially heating and cooling the end walls of a rotating rectangular cavity. After turning on the heat flux, intrusions propagated along the side walls of the cavity under an inertial buoyancy balance, with a geostrophic cross-stream balance. These boundary currents were internally stratified in temperature, while the environment during the early stages of development of the flow was isothermal. Rotational instabilities developed on the edge of the currents and broke to form cyclone-anticyclone eddy pairs. Measurements were made of the intrusion velocity, the temporal development of the width of the boundary currents, their internal thermal structure, and the characteristics of the unstable waves, including their growth rates, wavelengths, and phase speeds. Comparisons are made with previous field observations of the Leeuwin Current off Western and Southern Australia.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 1988
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