Wave breaking in dense plumes

Holland, Paul R., Hewitt, Richard E. and Scase, Matthew M. (2014) Wave breaking in dense plumes. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44 (2). pp. 790-800. ISSN 0022-3670

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Sinking dense plumes are important in many oceanographic settings, notably the polar formation of deep and bottom waters. The dense water sources feeding such plumes are commonly affected by tidal modulation, leading to plume variability on short time scales. In a simple unsteady theory of one-dimensional plumes (based on conservation equations for volume, momentum, and buoyancy), this plume variability is manifested as waves that travel down the resulting current. Using numerical techniques applied to the hyperbolic con- servation equations, this study investigates the novel concept that these waves may break as they travel down the plumes, triggering intense local mixing between the dense fluid and surrounding ocean. The results demonstrate that the waves break at geophysically relevant distances from the plume source. The location of wave breaking is very sensitive to plume drag from the seabed, the properties of the dense source, and the amplitude and period of the source modulation. To the extent that the simple model represents the real world, these results suggest that wave breaking originating from the tidal modulation of dense plumes could lead to a strong and previously unexplored source of local deep-ocean mixing.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/996994
Additional Information: © Copyright 2014 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.
Keywords: bottom currents, density currents, wave breaking, tides
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-13-0110.1
Depositing User: Scase, Matthew
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 15:07
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:15
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/29039

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