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Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems

Citation

Cossu, R and Wells, MG, Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, (17) Article L17603. ISSN 0094-8276 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2010GL044296

Abstract

A combination of centrifugal and Coriolis forces drive the secondary circulation of turbidity currents in sinuous channels, and hence determine where erosion and deposition of sediment occur. Using laboratory experiments we show that when centrifugal forces dominate, the density interface shows a superelevation at the outside of a channel bend. However when Coriolis forces dominate, the interface is always deflected to the right (in the Northern Hemisphere) for both left and right turning bends. The relative importance of either centrifugal or Coriolis forces can be described in terms of a Rossby number defined as Ro = U/fR, where U is the mean downstream velocity, f the Coriolis parameter and R the radius of curvature of the channel bend. Channels with larger bends at high latitudes have Ro < 1 and are dominated by Coriolis forces, whereas smaller, tighter bends at low latitudes have |Ro| ≫ 1 and are dominated by centrifugal forces.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:centrifugal forces, channel bend, coriolis parameter, density interface, erosion and deposition, gravity currents, high latitudes, laboratory experiments, low latitudes, northern hemispheres, radius of curvature, relative importance, Rossby numbers
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime Engineering
Research Field:Marine Engineering
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water Transport
Objective Field:Water Transport not elsewhere classified
Author:Cossu, R (Dr Remo Cossu)
ID Code:94947
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2014-09-22
Last Modified:2014-12-08
Downloads:124 View Download Statistics

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