Residual currents over a uniform slope due to breaking of internal waves in a two-layer system

Keisuke Nakayama, Tetsuya Shintani, Kazuki Kokubo, Taro Kakinuma, Yasuyuki Maruya, Katsuaki Komai, Tomonari Okada

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Residual currents due to internal wave breaking on a uniform slope were investigated in a two-layer system using laboratory experiments and numerical computations for different layer configurations. Internal wave-induced currents over a slope were measured in an experimental tank using PIV and also reproduced by a hydrodynamic model to quantify the detailed velocity field. The present results reveal that the critical level derived from the KdV theorem is a useful parameter for classifying the dynamics of internal waves breaking over a slope. As the horizontal distance from the critical level point to the internal wave breaking point increases, internal waves break more dynamically over the slope. Consequently, residual currents are enhanced near the breaking point. These findings increase our capacity to understand flux paths of biological and chemical substances in the stratified coastal ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC10002
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography


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