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Accueil > Grands équipements > La plateforme tournante Coriolis > Projets de recherche > Archives 2009

Laboratory experiments on along slope flows in homogeneous and stratified rotating fluids

Boyer D.L., Sous D., Sommeria J., Dyn. Atmos. Oceans 46,19-35. (2009)

Laboratory experiments have been carried out for the flow along isobaths of simulated shelf-continental slope geometry. Cases of both homogeneous and linearly stratified fluids are considered and the background flows are sufficiently strong to have the flow near the bottom boundary range from transitional to fully turbulent. The background motions are impulsively started and flows with a coast on the right (spin-down) and on the left (spin-up) are considered. The homogeneous spin-down and spin-up processes are smooth in the sense that no vortical structures were found to be of the order of the slope width or larger. Flows reach equilibrium more quickly for spin-down cases, and this is attributed to secondary flows forced by the basin geometry. All of the stratified experiments exhibited large-scale instabilities as evidenced by the generation of slope and basin scale eddy structures and a much slower decay than their homogeneous counterparts.