We present a semi-analytical model for predicting the breaking location of internal solitary waves (ISWs) over a sloping seabed. Our conceptual model is based on laboratory experiments, performed in a wave tank, that reproduce the ISW breaking mechanisms and show how the steepening of the trailing edge leads to verticalization of the wave profile during the shoaling phase. We derive the location of ISWs breaking, that is, the wave verticalization point, through two-layer, interfacial theoretical models and conservation of wave mass. We apply our model to the case of tidally forced ISWs that are generated in the Strait of Messina (Central Mediterranean Sea), where northward traveling ISWs are expected to refract and break over the frontal slope of Capo Vaticano. Our application is then assessed through numerical investigations, which allow to consider realistic field conditions in terms of water column stratification and geometrical setting. Our results, and the expected ISW-induced bed shear stress, suggest a link between the predicted breaking locations and the occurrence of sediment resuspension over that specific portion of the slope.

Breaking Location of Internal Solitary Waves Over a Sloping Seabed

la Forgia G.;
2021

Abstract

We present a semi-analytical model for predicting the breaking location of internal solitary waves (ISWs) over a sloping seabed. Our conceptual model is based on laboratory experiments, performed in a wave tank, that reproduce the ISW breaking mechanisms and show how the steepening of the trailing edge leads to verticalization of the wave profile during the shoaling phase. We derive the location of ISWs breaking, that is, the wave verticalization point, through two-layer, interfacial theoretical models and conservation of wave mass. We apply our model to the case of tidally forced ISWs that are generated in the Strait of Messina (Central Mediterranean Sea), where northward traveling ISWs are expected to refract and break over the frontal slope of Capo Vaticano. Our application is then assessed through numerical investigations, which allow to consider realistic field conditions in terms of water column stratification and geometrical setting. Our results, and the expected ISW-induced bed shear stress, suggest a link between the predicted breaking locations and the occurrence of sediment resuspension over that specific portion of the slope.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/86905
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