Articles | Volume 16, issue 4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 16, 487–502, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-16-487-2009
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 16, 487–502, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-16-487-2009

  17 Jul 2009

17 Jul 2009

A weakly nonlinear model for multi-modal evolution of wind-generated long internal waves in a closed basin

T. Sakai and L. G. Redekopp T. Sakai and L. G. Redekopp
  • Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1191, USA

Abstract. A weakly nonlinear evolution model that accounts for multi-modal interaction in a small, continuously stratified lake of variable depth is derived. In particular, an evolution model for the first two vertical modes in a lake that is subject to wind stress forcing is numerically simulated. Defining modal energies, energy transfer between the first and the second vertical modes is calculated for several different forms of the density stratification. Modal energy transfer mainly occurs during reflection of mode-one waves at the vertical end walls, and it is shown that the amount of energy transfer from the first to the second mode is greatly dependent on the shape of the stratification profile. Also, the initial modal energy partition at the wind setup is shown to depend significantly on the penetration depth of the internal shear stress induced by the wind stress, especially if the stress distribution extends into the upper levels of the metalimnion.