Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 633–649, 2010

Special issue: Advances and challenges in nonlinear geosciences (EGU Session...

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 633–649, 2010

Review article 17 Nov 2010

Review article | 17 Nov 2010

Internal solitary waves: propagation, deformation and disintegration

R. Grimshaw1, E. Pelinovsky2, T. Talipova2, and O. Kurkina3,4 R. Grimshaw et al.
  • 1Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK
  • 2Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  • 3State University, Higher School of Economics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  • 4Institute of Cybernetics, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia

Abstract. In coastal seas and straits, the interaction of barotropic tidal currents with the continental shelf, seamounts or sills is often observed to generate large-amplitude, horizontally propagating internal solitary waves. Typically these waves occur in regions of variable bottom topography, with the consequence that they are often modeled by nonlinear evolution equations of the Korteweg-de Vries type with variable coefficients. We shall review how these models are used to describe the propagation, deformation and disintegration of internal solitary waves as they propagate over the continental shelf and slope.