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Orographically Generated Nonlinear Waves in Rotating and Non-Rotating Two-Layer Flow

E. R. Johnson, J. G. Esler, O. J. Rump, J. Sommeria and G. G. Vilenski
Proceedings: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 462, No. 2065 (Jan. 8, 2006), pp. 3-20
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20208868
Page Count: 18
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Orographically Generated Nonlinear Waves in Rotating and Non-Rotating Two-Layer Flow
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Abstract

This paper reports experimental observations of finite amplitude interfacial waves forced by a surface-mounted obstacle towed through a two-layer fluid both when the fluid is otherwise at rest and when the fluid is otherwise rotating as a solid body. The experimental apparatus is sufficiently wide so that sidewall effects are negligible even in near-critical flow when the towing speed is close to the interfacial long-wave speed and the transverse extent of the forced wavefield is large. The observations are modelled by a simple forced Benjamin-Davis-Acrivos equation and comparison between integrations of both linear and nonlinear problems shows the fundamental nonlinearity of the near-critical flow patterns. In both the experiments and integrations rotation strongly confines the wavefield to extend laterally over distances only of order of the Rossby radius and also introduces finite-amplitude sharply pointed lee waves in supercritical flow.

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