Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Gravity currents: a personal perspective

a1 Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA, UK

Article author query
huppert he   [Google Scholar] 


Gravity currents, driven by horizontal differences in buoyancy, play a central role in fluid mechanics, with numerous important natural and industrial applications. The first quantitative, fluid-mechanical study of gravity currents, by von Kármán in 1940, was carried out before the birth of this Journal; the next important theoretical contribution was in 1968 by Brooke Benjamin, and appeared in this Journal more than a decade after its birth. The present paper reviews some of the material that has built on this auspicious start. Part of the fun and satisfaction of being involved in this field is that its development has been based on both theoretical and experimental contributions, which have at times been motivated and supported by field observations and measurements.

(Received September 9 2005)
(Revised February 6 2006)

Key Words: Gravity currents.

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