Wåhlin A. K.
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PreprintLaboratory observations of enhanced entrainment in dense overflows in the presence of submarine canyons and ridges( 2008-01-29) Wåhlin, A. K. ; Darelius, Elin ; Cenedese, Claudia ; Lane-Serff, G. F.The continental slopes in the oceans are often covered by small-scale topographic features such as submarine canyons and ridges. When dense plumes, flowing geostrophically along the slope, encounter such features they may be steered downslope inside and alongside the topography. A set of laboratory experiments was conducted at the rotating Coriolis platform to investigate the effect of small-scale topography on plume mixing. A dense water source was placed on top of a slope, and experiments were repeated with three topographies: a smooth slope, a slope with a ridge, and a slope with a canyon. Three flow regimes were studied: laminar, waves, and eddies. When a ridge or a canyon were present on the slope, the dense plume was steered downslope and instabilities developed along the ridge and canyon wall. This happened regardless of the flow characteristics on the smooth slope. Froude and Reynolds numbers were estimated, and were found to be higher for the topographically steered flow than for flow on smooth topography. The stratification in the collecting basin was monitored and the mixing inferred. The total mixing and the entrainment rate increased when a ridge or a canyon were present. The difference in mixing levels between the regimes was smaller when topography was present, indicating that it was the small-scale topography and not the large-scale characteristics of the flow that determined the properties of the product water.
PreprintHow entraining density currents influence the stratification in a one-dimensional ocean basin( 2005-11-03) Wåhlin, A. K. ; Cenedese, ClaudiaThe sensitivity of the basin-scale ocean stratification to the vertical distribution of plume entrainment is being analyzed. A large ocean basin supplied by dense water from an adjoining marginal sea is considered. The dense water flows into the ocean basin as an entraining density current and interleaves at the bottom (or at the level of neutral density), where it deposits a mixture of marginal seaand basin water. As the basin water, i.e. 'old' plume water, is entrained and re-circulated in the plume a stratification develops in the basin. The mixture deposited at the bottom hence contains an increasing fraction of marginal sea water, and the basin density increases with depth as well as with time. A stationary solution in which diffusion of buoyancy from above is important is approached asymptotically in time. Non-diffusive solutions to the initial transient adjustment, as well as the diffusive asymptotic state, have been studied in four different parameterizations of plume entrainment. It is shown that in the transient regime the basin stratification and plume density are highly sensitive to how mixing is parameterized. The stationary diffusive solution that is approached asymptotically in time is less sensitive to parameterization but depends strongly on basin topography, source water density, and buoyancy flux at the surface.