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From internal waves to turbulence in a stably stratified fluid

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  • UserCostanza Rodda, Imperial College
  • ClockMonday 05 February 2024, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseMR5, CMS.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. John R. Taylor.

We report on the statistical analysis of stratified turbulence forced by large-scale waves. The setup mimics some features of the tidal forcing of turbulence in the ocean interior at submesoscales. Our experiments are performed in the large-scale Coriolis facility in Grenoble, which is 13 m in diameter and 1 m deep. Four wavemakers excite large scale waves of moderate amplitude. In addition to weak internal wave turbulence at large scales, we observe strongly nonlinear waves, the breaking of which triggers intermittently strong turbulence at small scales. A transition to strongly nonlinear turbulence is observed at smaller scales. Our measurements are reminiscent of oceanic observations. Despite similarities with the empirical Garrett & Munk spectrum that assumes weak wave turbulence, our observed energy spectra are rather attributed to strongly nonlinear internal waves.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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