Selective Withdrawal in a Rotating Stratified Fluid

by Stephen G. Monismith, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
N. Robb McDonald, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
J?rg Imberger, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


In this paper we consider the axisymmetric flow of a rotating stratified fluid into a point sink. Linear analysis of the initial value problem of flow of a linearly stratified fluid into a point sink that is suddenly switched on shows that a radially decaying selective withdrawal layer is established through the outwards propagation of inertial shear waves. Because there is no azimuthal pressure gradient to balance the Coriolis force associated with the radial, sinkward flow, a strong swirling flow develops. Using scaling arguments, we conclude that this swirl causes the withdrawal-layer thickness to grow like (ft)1/3, such that eventually there is no withdrawal layer anywhere in the flow domain. Scaling suggests that this thickening takes place in finite-size basins.

Subject Headings: Fluid flow | Rotational flow | Wave propagation | Linear analysis | Axisymmetry | Thermal analysis | Shear waves

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