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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 18, 91-102, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Feb 2011
Strongly nonlinear, simple internal waves in continuously-stratified, shallow fluids
L. A. Ostrovsky1,2 and K. R. Helfrich3 1Zel Technologies and University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
2Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny, Novgorod, Russia
3Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA
Abstract. Strongly nonlinear internal waves in a layer with arbitrary stratification are considered in the hydrostatic approximation. It is shown that "simple waves" having a variable vertical structure can emerge from a wide class of initial conditions. The equations describing such waves have been obtained using the isopycnal coordinate as a variable. Emergence of simple waves from an initial Gaussian impulse is numerically investigated for different density profiles, from two- and three-layer structure to the continuous one. Besides the first mode, examples of second- and third-mode simple waves are given.

Citation: Ostrovsky, L. A. and Helfrich, K. R.: Strongly nonlinear, simple internal waves in continuously-stratified, shallow fluids, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 18, 91-102, doi:10.5194/npg-18-91-2011, 2011.
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