Dynamics of Turbulence in Low-Speed Oscillating Bottom-Boundary Layers of Stratified Basins

This paper focuses on the impact of an oscillating low-speed current on the structure and dynamics of the bottom-boundary layer (BBL) in a small stratified basin. A set of high-resolution current profile measurements in combination with temperature-microstructure measurements were collected during a complete cycle of the internal oscillation ('seiching') in the BBL of Lake Alpnach, Switzerland. It was found that even a relatively long seiching period of 24 hours significantly changed the form of the near-bottom current profiles as well as the dynamics of the turbulent dissipation rate compared to the steady-state law-of-the-wall. A logarithmic fit to the measured current profiles starting at a distance of 0.5 m above the sediment led to inconsistent estimates of both friction velocity and roughness length. Moreover, a phase lag between the current and the turbulent dissipation of 1.5 hours and a persistent maximum in the current profile at a height of 2.5 to 3 m above the sediment were observed. The experimental findings were compared to the results of a k-epsilon turbulence model and showed good agreement in general. Specifically, the inconsistent logarithmic fitting results and the observed phase lag were reproduced well by the model.

Published in:
Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 2, 4, 291-313
Dordrecht, Springer

 Record created 2013-06-10, last modified 2018-01-28

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