Latest News

About CAMQ

Information for Authors

Editorial Board

Browse CAMQ Online

Subscription and Pricing

CAMQ Contacts

CAMQ Home

 

Volume 9,     Number 2,     Summer 2001

 

DYNAMICS OF BOTTOM TRAPPED CURRENTS WITH APPLICATION TO THE STRAIT OF GEORGIA
MATEUSZ K. RESZKA AND GORDON E. SWATERS

Abstract. We present a numerical study of bottom-trapped, density-driven flows using a frontal geostrophic model in which the ambient ocean is continuously stratified. The model focuses on the release of gravitational potential energy associated with the descent of a gravity current down an incline in a rotating reference frame. In the resulting system, the overlying fluid is stratified and quasigeostrophic, while the deep current is homogeneous and the interface is allowed to intersect the oceanic bottom. We show that such currents preferentially develop plumes on the downslope side, which rapidly roll up into more coherent features. In response to deformations of the interface, eddies emerge in the overlying fluid and extend over most of the fluid column but are bottom-intensified with a tapered vertical structure. These results are in good agreement with observations in the Strait of Georgia, where dense water intrusions are known to produce tapered eddies a few kilometers in diameter. Based on our findings, we conclude that continuous upper layer stratification is an important aspect of this dynamical regime.

 

Download PDF Files
 
(Subscribers Only)

© 2005, Canadian Applied Mathematics Quarterly (CAMQ)