Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-114
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-114

  16 Dec 2020

16 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Laboratory experiments on the influence of stratification and a bottom sill on seiche damping

Karim Medjdoub1, Imre M. Jánosi1, and Miklós Vincze1,2 Karim Medjdoub et al.
  • 1von Kármán Laboratory of Environmental Flows; Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány P. sétány 1/A, Budapest H-1117, Hungary
  • 2MTA-ELTE Theoretical Physics Research Group, Pázmány P. sétány 1/A, Budapest H-1117, Hungary

Abstract. The damping of water surface standing waves (seiche modes) and the associated excitation of baroclinic internal waves are studied experimentally in a quasi-two-layer laboratory setting with a topographic obstacle at the bottom, representing a seabed sill. We find that topography-induced baroclinic wave drag indeed contributes markedly to seiche damping in such systems. Two major pathways of barotropic-baroclinic energy conversions were observed: the stronger one – involving short-wavelength internal modes of large amplitudes – may occur when the node of the surface seiche is situated above the close vicinity of the sill. The weaker, less significant other pathway is the excitation of long waves, internal seiches along the pycnocline that may resonate with the low frequency components of the decaying surface forcing.

Karim Medjdoub et al.

 
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Karim Medjdoub et al.

Karim Medjdoub et al.

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Short summary
In our laboratory experiments we addressed the question of how surface standing waves in a closed stratified basin are getting damped by the interaction of the flow in the bulk with a sill-like bottom obstacle reaching up to a density interface between the more saline deep layer and the freshwater layer at the top. We quantify the decay rates of the surface waves and explore what types of internal waves can be excited in this process along the internal density interface.