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Transition to turbulence at the bottom of a solitary wave

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 August 2012

Paolo Blondeaux
Affiliation:
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Genoa University, via Montallegro 1, 16145 Genova, Italy
Jan Pralits
Affiliation:
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Genoa University, via Montallegro 1, 16145 Genova, Italy
Giovanna Vittori
Affiliation:
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Genoa University, via Montallegro 1, 16145 Genova, Italy
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

A linear stability analysis of the laminar flow in the boundary layer at the bottom of a solitary wave is made to determine the conditions leading to transition and the appearance of turbulence. The Reynolds number of the phenomenon is assumed to be large and a ‘momentary’ criterion of instability is used. The results show that the laminar regime becomes unstable during the decelerating phase, when the height of the solitary wave exceeds a threshold value which depends on the ratio between the boundary layer thickness and the local water depth. A comparison of the theoretical results with the experimental measurements of Sumer et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 646, 2010, pp. 207–231) supports the analysis.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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