Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 November 1997
An approximate theory is given for the generation of internal gravity waves in a viscous Boussinesq fluid by the rectilinear vibrations of an elliptic cylinder. A parameter λ which is proportional to the square of the ratio of the thickness of the oscillatory boundary layer that surrounds the cylinder to a typical dimension of its cross-section is introduced. When λ[Lt ]1 (or equivalently when the Reynolds number R[Gt ]1), the viscous boundary condition at the surface of the cylinder may to first order in λ be replaced by the inviscid one. A viscous solution is proposed for the case λ[Lt ]1 in which the Fourier representation of the stream function found in Part 1 (Hurley 1997) is modified by including in the integrands a factor to account for viscous dissipation. In the limit λ→0 the proposed solution becomes the inviscid one at each point in the flow field.
For ease of presentation the case of a circular cylinder of radius a is considered first and we take a to be the typical dimension of its cross-section in the definition of λ above. The accuracy of the proposed approximate solution is investigated both analytically and numerically and it is concluded that it is accurate throughout the flow field if λ is sufficiently small, except in a small region near where the characteristics touch the cylinder where viscous effects dominate.
Computations indicate that the velocity on the centreline on a typical beam of waves, at a distance s along the beam from the centre of the cylinder, agrees, within about 1%, with the (constant) inviscid values provided λs/a is less than about 10−3. This result is interpreted as indicating that those viscous effects which originate from the characteristics that touch the cylinder (places where the inviscid velocity is singular) reach the centreline of the beam when λs/a is about 10−3. For larger values of s, viscous effects are significant throughout the beam and the velocity profile of the beam changes until it attains, within about 1% when λs/a is about 2, the value given by the similarity solution obtained by Thomas & Stevenson (1972). For larger values of λs/a, their similarity solution applies.
In an important paper Makarov et al. (1990) give an approximate solution for the circular cylinder that is very similar to ours. However, it does not reduce to the inviscid one when the viscosity is taken to be zero.
Finally it is shown that our results for a circular cylinder apply, after small modifications, to all elliptical cylinders.