Boundary layer flow beneath an internal solitary wave of elevation

Magda Carr, P A Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The wave-induced flow over a fixed bottom boundary beneath an internal solitary wave of elevation propagating in an unsheared, two-layer, stably stratified fluid is investigated experimentally. Measurements of the velocity field close to the bottom boundary are presented to illustrate that in the lower layer the fluid velocity near the bottom reverses direction as the wave decelerates while higher in the water column the fluid velocity is in the same direction as the wave propagation. The observation is similar in nature to that for wave-induced flow beneath a surface solitary wave. Contrary to theoretical predictions for internal solitary waves, no evidence for either boundary layer separation or vortex formation is found beneath the front half of the wave in the adverse pressure gradient region of the flow.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026601
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
Early online date25 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Rotating flows
  • Flow instabilities
  • Internal waves
  • Ocean waves
  • Reynolds stress modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Boundary layer flow beneath an internal solitary wave of elevation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this