Transverse Mixing in Partially Stratified Flow

by Sukru M. Sumer, Grad. Research Asst.; Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, Calif.,
Hugo B. Fischer, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 6, Pg. 587-600

Document Type: Journal Paper


The paper reports the results of a laboratory study on the rate of transverse mixing in oscillatory estuary-type flow with density gradients typical of those found in real estuaries. Two sets of experiments were performed: one in a uniform channel with a trapezoidal cross section, and one in a channel with an irregular cross section. In the uniform channel density stratification reduced the rate of transverse mixing. A plot of the dimensionless transverse mixing coefficient versus Richardson Number is given. In the irregular channel, the density stratification had an opposite effect: the irregular side wall generated vertical mixing which induced transverse density gradients and transverse flows. It is concluded that real estuaries are probably similar to the irregular channel and that density stratification in real estuaries may hasten rather than impede transverse mixing.

Subject Headings: Density stratification | Density currents | Estuaries | Water stratification | Stratified flow | Laboratory tests | Cross sections | Oscillations

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