Journal article

Gyre formation in open and deep lacustrine embayments: The example of Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Numerical simulations were carried out to investigate gyres within open lacustrine embayments subjected to parallel-to-shore currents. In such embayments, gyre formation occurs due to flow separation at the embayment’s upstream edge. High momentum fluid from the mixing layer between the embayment and offshore flows into the embayment and produces recirculating flow. Systematic numerical experiments using different synthetic embayment configurations were used to examine the impact of embayment geometry. Geometries included embayments with different aspect ratios, depths and embayment corner angles. The magnitudes of the recirculation and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in the embayment vary significantly for angles in the range 40° to 55°. Embayments with corner angles less than 50° have much stronger recirculation and TKE, other parameters remaining the same. The numerical findings are consistent with gyre formation observed in two embayments located in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and thus help explain flow patterns recorded in lacustrine shoreline regions.

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