Time-varying underflow into a continuous stratification with bottom slope

R.L. Fernandez, Jorg Imberger

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    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Results are presented from a laboratory investigation of a continuous discharge gravity current moving down an inclined plane into a linearly stratified fluid; the density of the inflow decreasing linearly with time, initially larger and finally smaller than the bottom ambient density. The inflowing water was observed to follow both underflowing and intrusive flow regimes. Hence, during the time in which the inflow was denser than the water in the stratified reservoir, an underflow was observed to descend down the sloping bottom with a speed that was consistent with that given by the theory for a buoyancy-conserving gravity current on gentle slopes. However, the continuous decrease of the density at the source shortly lead to an unstable density distribution within the initial underflow, which then collapsed into an intrusion that traveled as a horizontal gravity intrusion. Scaling arguments were used to identify both the position and time to the breakup of the underflow. To the end of the experiment, multiple intrusions were established successively at different depths in between the initial underflow and the surface buoyant plume.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1191-1198
    JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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