Journal article

Mixing in Downslope Flows in the Ocean - Plumes versus Gravity Currents

Peter G Baines

Atmosphere - Ocean | CMOS-SCMO | Published : 2008


The nature of downslope flows into stratified environments as revealed by laboratory experiments is described, and the results are then applied to interpret particular downslope flows into the ocean. In the laboratory, non-rotating downslope flows can be divided into two main types: detraining gravity currents over sufficiently gentle slopes, where the buoyancy force of the dense downflow is mainly balanced by bottom drag, and entraining plumes over sufficiently steep slopes, where the buoyancy force is balanced by vigorous entrainment of environmental fluid from above. This mixing character of the flow is determined by the bottom slope, the drag coefficient and the buoyancy number B = QN /G..

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University of Melbourne Researchers