Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Experimental study of internal waves over a slope

David  Cacchione a1 and Carl  Wunsch a2
a1 Office of Naval Research, 495 Summer Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210
a2 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Article author query
cacchione d   [Google Scholar] 
wunsch c   [Google Scholar] 


Internal waves of the fundamental mode propagating into a shoaling region have been studied experimentally in a continuously stratified fluid. The waves divide into three classes depending upon the ratio of the bottom slope γ to the wave-characteristic slope c. For γ/c < 1, the amplitude and wavenumber changes of the waves over the slope are in reasonable accord with a simple inviscid linear theory, prior to wave breakdown near the intersection of the slope and surface. Considerable mixing occurs in this corner region. When γ/c = 1, a striking instability of the bottom boundary layer is observed and the waves are heavily damped. When γ/c > 1, the waves are inhomogeneous and have complex spatial dependence.

(Published Online March 29 2006)
(Received January 25 1974)