Articles | Volume 25, issue 2
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 25, 441–455, 2018

Special issue: Extreme internal wave events

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 25, 441–455, 2018

Research article 25 Jun 2018

Research article | 25 Jun 2018

The evolution of mode-2 internal solitary waves modulated by background shear currents

Peiwen Zhang et al.

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Cited articles

Akylas, T. R. and Grimshaw, R. H. J.: Solitary internal waves with oscillatory tails, J. Fluid Mech., 242, 279–298, 1992. 
Barad, M. F. and Fringer, O. B.: Simulations of shear instabilities in interfacial gravity waves, J. Fluid Mech., 644, 61–95, 2010. 
Brandt, A. and Shipley, K. R.: Laboratory experiments on mass transport by large amplitude mode-2 internal solitary waves, Phys. Fluids, 26, 016602-82,, 2014. 
Carpenter, J. R., Balmforth, N. J., and Lawrence, G. A.: Identifying unstable modes in stratified shear layers, Phys. Fluids, 22, 054104,, 2010. 
Carr, M., Davies, P. A., and Hoebers, R. P.: Experiments on the structure and stability of mode-2 internal solitary-like waves propagating on an offset pycnocline, Phys. Fluids, 27, 046602,, 2015. 
Short summary
We perform five sets of numerical experiments to examine the evolution processes of mode-2 internal solitary waves (ISWs) modulated by background shear currents. Three distinctly different shear-induced waves were identified as forward-propagating long waves, oscillating tails and amplitude-modulated wave packets. The background shear currents are found to play an important role for the short-lived nature and energy decay process of mode-2 ISWs observed previously by Shroyer et al. (2010).