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Could waves mix the ocean?

  • G. FALKOVICH (a1)

Abstract

A finite-amplitude propagating wave induces a drift in fluids. Understanding how drifts produced by many waves disperse pollutants has broad implications for geophysics and engineering. Previously, the effective diffusivity was calculated for a random set of small-amplitude surface and internal waves. Now, this is extended by Bühler & Holmes-Cerfon (J. Fluid Mech., 2009, this issue, vol. 638, pp. 5–26) to waves in a rotating shallow-water system in which the Coriolis force is accounted for, a necessary step towards oceanographic applications. It is shown that interactions of finite-amplitude waves affect particle velocity in subtle ways. An expression describing the particle diffusivity as a function of scale is derived, showing that the diffusivity can be substantially reduced by rotation.

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Copyright

References

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Balk, A. M. 2006 Wave turbulent diffusion due to the Doppler shift. J. Stat. Mech. P08018.
Balk, A. M. & McLaughlin, R. M. 1999 Passive scalar in a random wave field: the weak turbulence approach. Phys. Lett. A 256 (4), 299306.
Bühler, O. & Holmes-Cerfon, M. 2009 Particle dispersion by random waves in rotating shallow water. J. Fluid Mech. 638, 526.
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Could waves mix the ocean?

  • G. FALKOVICH (a1)

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