Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
28 Feb 2002
28 Feb 2002

Long waves over a bi-viscous seabed: transverse patterns

J. M. Becker and D. Bercovici

Abstract. The coupled interaction of long standing hydrodynamic waves with a deformable non-Newtonian seabed is examined using a two-layer model for which the upper layer fluid is inviscid and the lower layer is bi-viscous. The two-dimensional response of the system to forcing by a predominantly longitudinal (cross-shore) standing wave perturbed by a small transverse (along-shore) component is determined. With a constant yield stress in the bi-viscous lower layer, there is little amplification of these transverse per-turbations and the model response typically remains quasi-one-dimensional. However, for a bi-viscous layer with a pressure-dependent yield stress (which represents the effect that the seabed deforms less readily under compression and hence renders the rheology history dependent), the initially small transverse motions are amplified in some parameter regimes and two-dimensional, permanent bedforms are formed in the lower layer. This simple dynamical model is, therefore, able to explain the formation of permanent bedforms with significant cross- and along-shore features by predominantly cross-shore standing wave forcing.