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Free Content Convectively driven coastal currents in a rotating basin

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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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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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