We investigated theoretically and experimentally internal solitary waves (ISWs) in a two-layer fluid system with a top free surface. Laboratory experiments are performed by lock-release, under Boussinesq and non-Boussinesq conditions. Experimental results are compared with those obtained by the analytical solution of the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) weakly nonlinear equation and by the strongly nonlinear Miyata-Choi-Camassa (MCC) model. We analyze the initial conditions which allow to find soliton solutions for both rigid-lid (-RL) and free-surface (-FS) boundary conditions. For the MCC-FS model, we employ a new mathematical procedure to derive the ISW-induced free surface displacement. The density structure strongly affects the elevation of the free surface predicted by the MCC-FS model. The free surface maximum displacement increases mostly with the density difference, assuming non-negligible values also for smaller interfacial amplitudes. Larger displacements occur for thinner upper layer thickness. The MCC-FS model gives the best prediction in terms of both internal waves geometric/kinematic features and surface displacements. The existence of a free surface allows the ISW to transfer part of its energy to the free surface: the wave celerity assumes lower values with respect to ISW speed resulting from the MCC-RL model. For ISWs with a very large amplitude, this behavior tends to fade, and the MCC-RL and the MCC-FS model predict approximately the same celerity and interfacial geometric features. For small-amplitude waves also, the predictions of the KdV-RL equation are consistent with experimental results. Thus, ISWs with an intermediate amplitude should be modeled taking into account a free top surface as the boundary condition.

The role of the free surface on interfacial solitary waves

La Forgia G.
;
2019

Abstract

We investigated theoretically and experimentally internal solitary waves (ISWs) in a two-layer fluid system with a top free surface. Laboratory experiments are performed by lock-release, under Boussinesq and non-Boussinesq conditions. Experimental results are compared with those obtained by the analytical solution of the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) weakly nonlinear equation and by the strongly nonlinear Miyata-Choi-Camassa (MCC) model. We analyze the initial conditions which allow to find soliton solutions for both rigid-lid (-RL) and free-surface (-FS) boundary conditions. For the MCC-FS model, we employ a new mathematical procedure to derive the ISW-induced free surface displacement. The density structure strongly affects the elevation of the free surface predicted by the MCC-FS model. The free surface maximum displacement increases mostly with the density difference, assuming non-negligible values also for smaller interfacial amplitudes. Larger displacements occur for thinner upper layer thickness. The MCC-FS model gives the best prediction in terms of both internal waves geometric/kinematic features and surface displacements. The existence of a free surface allows the ISW to transfer part of its energy to the free surface: the wave celerity assumes lower values with respect to ISW speed resulting from the MCC-RL model. For ISWs with a very large amplitude, this behavior tends to fade, and the MCC-RL and the MCC-FS model predict approximately the same celerity and interfacial geometric features. For small-amplitude waves also, the predictions of the KdV-RL equation are consistent with experimental results. Thus, ISWs with an intermediate amplitude should be modeled taking into account a free top surface as the boundary condition.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/86896
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