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The dynamics of strong turbulence at free surfaces. Part 1. Description

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 December 2001

D.I.Am., Università di Genova, 16145 Genova, Italy
School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TW, UK


A free surface may be deformed by fluid motions; such deformation may lead to surface roughness, breakup, or disintegration. This paper describes the wide range of free-surface deformations that occur when there is turbulence at the surface, and focuses on turbulence in the denser, liquid, medium. This turbulence may be generated at the surface as in breaking water waves, or may reach the surface from other sources such as bed boundary layers or submerged jets. The discussion is structured by consideration of the stabilizing influences of gravity and surface tension against the disrupting effect of the turbulent kinetic energy. This leads to a two-parameter description of the surface behaviour which gives a framework for further experimental and theoretical studies. Much of the discussion is necessarily heuristic, and is often limited by a lack of appropriate experimental observations. It is intended that such experiments be stimulated, to test the value or otherwise of our two-parameter description.

Research Article
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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