Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Free gravitational oscillations in rotating rectangular basins 1

Desiraju B.  Rao a1
a1 The University of Chicago 2

Article author query
rao db   [Google Scholar] 


The study of free oscillations of a homogeneous liquid under gravity in rotating rectangular basins of uniform depth is undertaken from both theoretical and experimental considerations.

The theoretical study is in the framework of the quasistatic equations. It is also assumed that the curvature of the free surface can be ignored. Numerical computations for the frequencies and modal structures were carried out for several of the slowest antisymmetric and symmetric modes in a square basin and in a rectangular basin of two-to-one dimension ratio, without any restriction on the angular speed of rotation of the basin. These computations are in agreement with a numerical value obtained many years ago by Taylor, and also with several values found by Corkan & Doodson. They exhibit the typical frequency-splitting associated with certain multiplets in the zero-rotation spectrum. Further, the theoretical calculations indicate that the slopes of the curves of frequency versus speed of rotation change sign for some of the modes in rectangular geometry. Such behaviour is not present in circular basins. Negative modes are found to be ‘unstable’ in the sense of Corkan & Doodson; that is, they are transformed into positive modes for sufficiently high rotation. Calculations were also made for the slowest longitudinal oscillations in highly elongated basins to demonstrate the decreasing importance of rotation on the frequencies of these modes.

Experimental work was carried out in a flat-bottomed square tank for the slowest positively and negatively propagating antisymmetric modes and the slowest positively propagating symmetric mode. Good agreement was found between theory and experiment.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received July 29 1965)
(Revised November 30 1965)


1 Present affiiliation: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

2 This paper is a condensed version of a Doctoral Dissertation (Rao 1965).