Nonlinear dynamics of the near-shore boundary layer of a large lake (Lake Geneva)

We examine near-shore and pelagic current variability in Lake Geneva, a large and deep lake in western Europe, using observations from several measurement locations and a three-dimensional numerical model for the period 2014-2016. Linear internal seiche modes excited by wind forcing clearly appear as peaks in the energy spectra for measurements in off-shore locations. In contrast, spectra from the near-shore data, where currents interact withthe lake bed, reveal a negligible contribution of internal seiches to the total kinetic energy. A similar contrast is seen in the spectra obtained from the numerical model at the same locations. Comparing the contribution of the different terms in the vertically-averaged momentum equation from the modeling results shows that the nonlinear advective term dominates in the near-shore boundary layer. Its contribution decays with distance from shore. The width of this near-shore boundary layer, which may extend for several kilometers, seems to be mainly determined by local topography. Both field measurements and modeling results indicate that nonlinear dynamics are of primary importance in the near-shore boundary layer.

Published in:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123, 1016-1031

 Record created 2017-05-16, last modified 2018-07-08

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