Dynamics of dense gravity currents and mixing in an up-sloping and converging vee-shaped channel

Janek Laanearu (Lead / Corresponding author), Alan Cuthbertson, Peter A. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Detailed velocity and density measurements are used to investigate dense water dynamics in an inclined, silled channel of triangular cross-section with varying side slope and adverse bed slope. For the steeper channel configuration considered (P=3.6°), the dense-water bottom current is shown to be frictionally-controlled, with an internal flow structure characterized by a sharp pycnocline and decreasing isopycnal separation in the along-channel direction. For the milder up-sloping channel (P=1.7°), the dense water outflow is shown to be hydraulically-controlled as the channel sill section is approached, with internal flow dynamics characterized by increasing isopycnal separation in the along-channel direction. Analysis of the gradient Richardson number Ri of the flow confirms that hydraulically-controlled flows dilute the active bottom water due to interfacial mixing. A gradually-varying internal flow model and a two-layer hydraulic modelling approach are shown, respectively, to represent adequately the outflow behaviour for these two bed slope conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Research
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Buoyancy-driven flows
  • density currents
  • Froude number
  • hydraulic models
  • laboratory studies
  • Reynolds number
  • Richardson number
  • stratified flows

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