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Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics Vol. 97, No. 2, April 2003, pp. 7995
 

Summary: Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
Vol. 97, No. 2, April 2003, pp. 7995
SPONTANEOUS EMISSION
OF GRAVITY WAVES BY INTERACTING
VORTEX DIPOLES IN A STRATIFIED FLUID:
LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS
YAKOV AFANASYEV*
Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography,
Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NF, Canada
(Received 27 February 2003)
Results from a new series of experiments on the geophysically important issue of spontaneous emission of
internal gravity waves during unsteady interactions of vortical structures are presented. Vortex dipoles are
a common element of a quasi-two-dimensional turbulent flow. Vortex dipoles perform translational
motion and can collide with other vortices. During collision events the flow is unsteady and unbalanced and
a further adjustment process associated with these events can therefore result in the spontaneous emission of
gravity waves. Our laboratory experiments demonstrate that gravity waves are emitted when two translating
vortex dipoles interact (collide) in a layered fluid, in accord with the current theoretical results. The emission
was evident both in a two-layer system and in a fluid with a linear distribution of density with depth. The
waves were generated during the period of deceleration of the secondary dipoles which constitute a vortex
quadrupole emerging immediately after the collision of the primary dipoles.

  

Source: Afanassiev, Iakov - Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

Collections: Geosciences