Experimental study on dynamical blocking conditions of net exchange flows

Janek Laanearu, Alan Cuthbertson, Magda Carr, Joel Sommeria, Madis-Jaak Lillover, Samuel Viboud, Jarle Berntsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Experimental results are presented from a series of large-scale laboratory investigations of the internal flow of restricted net exchange flows across a submerged trapezoidal sill, intended to give higher Reynolds numbers that are more representative of real situations (e.g. semi-enclosed estuaries and fjords). The experimental program, funded under the EU FP7 Hydralab IV Initiative, was conducted in the LEGI experimental facility in Grenoble. Measurements focused on obtaining velocity and density profiles in the vicinity of the obstruction to observe and quantify interfacial mixing processes under a range of parametric forcing conditions (i.e. variable saline and fresh water flow rates; density differences; water levels). Detailed synoptic velocity fields were analysed across the obstruction using particle image velocimetry (PIV), with high-resolution density profiles obtained by micro-conductivity probes, to aid qualitative and quantitative interpretation of these internal flow processes. These measurements were processed to define parametric conditions under which the saline intrusions became arrested through interface ventilation at the intrusion nose by the upper, counter-flowing, freshwater layer. An internal flow hydraulic model has been developed to help interpret the parametric conditions under which this saline flow is blocked in such bi-directional, estuarine exchange flows. The results from this study are aimed primarily at improving representation of interfacial mixing processes within semi-enclosed estuaries and fjords, as well as providing datasets for future validation of advanced numerical models (CFD).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Statified Flows
Place of PublicationSan Diego
PublishereScholarship Publishing, University of California, San Diego
Number of pages8
Volume1, issue 1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2016
EventVIIIth International Symposium on Stratified Flows (ISSF) 2016 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 29 Aug 20161 Sept 2016


ConferenceVIIIth International Symposium on Stratified Flows (ISSF) 2016
Abbreviated titleISSF 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


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