In nature where thermoclines exist an internal wave may form, and if a sloping bottom is also present then a gravity current may occur. In this study we use a Navier-Stokes solver to solve Eulers equations to simulate the generation and evolution of such a wave. The thermoclines used in this study are similar to those seen in nature except scaled down to the laboratory scale used by some ongoing experiments. We find that the Navier-Stokes solver generates and evolves a wave similar to experimental observations. The head of the gravity current is dominated by medium density fluid with the thermocline thickness growing and becoming thickest at the centre of the head. Maximum velocities of approximately 0.5 of the linear wave speed are found which are similar to experimental and field observations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.