Interfacial Wave Breaking in Stratified Liquids

by Ralph R. Rumer, Jr., (M.ASCE), Prof. of Engrg. and Appl. Sci.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., State Univ. of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pg. 509-524

Document Type: Journal Paper


Experimental results are presented which support the hypothesis that interfacial instability is controlled largely by the difference in density, Δ P, and the thickness of the transition region, δ, between the two layers. The horizontal velocities of the upper and lower layers associated with an internal seiche episode in a stratified lake are examined analytically in relation to critical shear gradients necessary for the growth of unstable short period interfacial waves with frequency close to the Brunt-Vaisala frequency. Experimental results obtained from steady nonuniform surface flows over a stagnant denser fluid are presented which help to clarify the conditions for the occurrence of the short period waves.

Subject Headings: Breaking waves | Wave velocity | Frequency response | Nonuniform flow | Fluid flow | Thickness | Water stratification | Lakes

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