Application of a model of internal hydraulic jumps

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  • Stephen Thorpe
  • Jonathan Malarkey
  • Gunnar Voet
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla
  • Mathew Alford
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla
  • James Girton
    Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Glenn Carter
    Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
A model devised by Thorpe & Li (2014, J. Fluid Mech. 758, 94-120) that predicts the conditions in which stationary turbulent hydraulic jumps can occur in the flow of a continuously stratified layer over a horizontal rigid bottom is applied to, and its results compared with, observations made at several locations in the ocean. The model identifies two positions in the Samoan Passage at which hydraulic jumps should occur and where changes in the structure of the flow are indeed observed. The model predicts the amplitude of changes and the observed mode 2 form of the transitions. The predicted dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy is also consistent with observations. One location provides a particularly well-defined example of a persistent hydraulic jump. It takes the form of a 390 m thick and 3.7 km long mixing layer with frequent density inversions separated from the seabed by some 200 m of relatively rapidly moving dense water, thus revealing the previously unknown structure of an internal hydraulic jump in the deep ocean. Predictions in the Red Sea Outflow in the Gulf of Aden are relatively uncertain. Available data, and the model predictions, do not provide strong support for the existence of hydraulic jumps. In the Mediterranean Outflow, however, both model and data indicate the presence of a hydraulic jump.


  • hydraulic control, stratified flows, turbulent tansition
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-148
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date17 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018

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