Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 123–130 | Cite as

A novel internal waves generator

  • L. Gostiaux
  • H. Didelle
  • S. Mercier
  • T. Dauxois
Research Article


We present a new kind of generator of internal waves which has been designed for three purposes. First, the oscillating boundary conditions force the fluid particles to travel in the preferred direction of the wave ray, hence reducing the mixing due to forcing. Second, only one ray tube is produced so that all of the energy is in the beam of interest. Third, temporal and spatial frequency studies emphasize the high quality for temporal and spatial monochromaticity of the emitted beam. The greatest strength of this technique is therefore the ability to produce a large monochromatic and unidirectional beam.


Particle Image Velocimetry Internal Wave Internal Gravity Wave Stratify Fluid Monochromatic Plane Wave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We warmly thank J. Sommeria for helpful discussions and S. Viboud for help during the experiments. Figure 1f was obtained by D. Benielli and J. Sommeria. Comments to the manuscript by Denis Martinand are deeply appreciated. This work has been partially supported by 2005-ANR Project TOPOGI-3D and by the 2006-PATOM CNRS program.


  1. Benielli D (1995) Excitation paramétrique et déferlement d’ondes internes en fluide stratifié, PhD Thesis, ENS LyonGoogle Scholar
  2. Benielli D, Sommeria J (1998) Excitation and breaking of internal gravity waves by parametric instability. J Fluid Mech 374:117CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Cacchione D, Wunsch C (1974) Experimental study of internal waves over a slope. J Fluid Mech 66:223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dalziel SB, Hughes GO, Sutherland BR (2000) Whole field density measurements by synthetic schlieren. Exp Fluids 28:322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dauxois T, Young WR (1999) Near-critical reflection of internal waves. J Fluid Mech 390:271CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. Eriksen CC (1998) Internal wave reflection and mixing at fieberling guyot. J Geophys Res 103:2977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fincham A, Delerce G (2000) Advanced optimization of correlation imaging velocimetry algorithms. Exp Fluids 29:13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gerkema T, Lam F-PA, Maas LRM (2004) Internal tides in the Bay of Biscay: conversion rates and seasonal effects. Deep Sea Res II 51:2995–3008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Görtler H (1943) Uber eine schwingungserscheinung in flussigkeiten mit stabiler dichteschichtung. Zeitschrift angewandte Mathematik Mechanik 23:165Google Scholar
  10. Gostiaux L, Dauxois T (2006) Internal tides in laboratory experiments. Phys Fluids (Submitted)Google Scholar
  11. Gostiaux L, Dauxois T, Didelle H, Sommeria J, Viboud S (2006) Quantitative laboratory observation of internal wave reflection on ascending slopes. Phys Fluids 18:056602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hill DF (2002) General density gradients in general domains: the “two-tank” method revisited. Exp Fluids 32:434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hurley DG (1997) The generation of internal waves by vibrating elliptic cylinders. Part 1. Inviscid solution. J Fluid Mech 351:105CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. Hurley DG, Hood MJ (2001) The generation of internal waves by vibrating elliptic cylinders. Part 3. Angular oscillations and comparison of theory with recent experimental observations. J Fluid Mech 433:61MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. Hurley DG, Keady G (1997) The generation of internal waves by vibrating elliptic cylinders. Part 2. Approximate viscous solution. J Fluid Mech 351:119CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. Ivey GN, Nokes RI (1989) Vertical mixing due to the breaking of critical internal waves on sloping boundaries. J Fluid Mech 204:479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ivey GN, Winters KB, Silva IPDD (2000) Turbulent mixing in a sloping benthic boundary layer energized by internal waves. J Fluid Mech 418:59CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. Lam F-PA, Maas LRM, Gerkema T (2004) Spatial structure of tidal and residual currents as observed over the shelf break in the Bay of Biscay. Deep Sea Res I 51:1075–1096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maas LRM, Benielli D, Sommeria J, Lam FPA (1997) Observation of an internal wave attractor in a confined stably stratified fluid. Nature 388:557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McEwan AD (1973) Interactions between internal gravity waves and their traumatic effect on a continuous stratification. Bound Layer Met 5:159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mowbray DE, Rarity BSH (1967) A theoretical and experimental investigation of the phase configuration of internal waves of small amplitude in a density-stratified liquid. J Fluid Mech 28:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oster G (1965) Density Gradients. Sci Am 213:70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peacock T, Weidman P (2005) The effect of rotation on conical wave beams in a stratified fluid. Exp Fluids 39:32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Silva IPDD, Imberger J, Ivey GN (1997) Localized mixing due to a breaking internal wave ray at a sloping bed. J Fluid Mech 350:1CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  25. Teoh SG, Imberger J, Ivey GN (1997) Laboratory study of the interactions between two internal wave rays. J Fluid Mech 336:91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Thomas NH, Stevenson TN (1972) A similarity solution for viscous internal wave. J Fluid Mech 54:495CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. Thorpe SA (2005) The turbulent ocean. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Voisin B (2003) Limit states of internal wave beams. J Fluid Mech 496:243CrossRefMathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Gostiaux
    • 1
  • H. Didelle
    • 2
  • S. Mercier
    • 2
  • T. Dauxois
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de PhysiqueUMR-CNRS 5672Lyon Cédex 07France
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels (LEGI)UMR 5519 CNRS-UJF-INPGGrenobleFrance

Personalised recommendations