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Orographically generated nonlinear waves in rotating and nonrotating two-layer flow

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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E. R. Johnson, J. G. Esler, O. J. Rump, Joël Sommeria, G. G. Vilenski. Orographically generated nonlinear waves in rotating and nonrotating two-layer flow. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and physical sciences, Royal Society, The, 2006, 462 (A), pp.3-20. ⟨10.1098/rspa.2005.1550⟩. ⟨hal-00260929⟩



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