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Internal solitary wave breaking and run-up on a uniform slope

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2006

Karl R. Helfrich
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole. MA 02543. USA

Abstract

Laboratory experiments have been conducted to study the shoaling of internal solitary waves of depression in a two-layer system on a uniform slope. The shoaling of a single solitary wave results in wave breaking and the production of multiple turbulent surges, or boluses, which propagate up the slope. Significant vertical mixing occurs everywhere inshore of the breaking location. The kinematics of the breaking and bolus runup are described and a breaking criterion is found. The energetics of the breaking are investigated. Over the range of parameters examined, 15 (±5) % of the energy lost from first-mode wave motion inshore of the break point goes into vertical mixing.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1992 Cambridge University Press

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