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The structure and origin of confined Holmboe waves

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We describe and elucidate the origin of confined Holmboe waves, which are long-lived coherent structures found in sustained stratified shear flows in the laboratory. We use a combination of (i) novel time-resolved, volumetric measurements of the three-component velocity and density fields simultaneously; (ii) a linear stability analysis solving for three-dimensional perturbations about the two-dimensional streamwise-averaged experimental flow. We show that the lateral confinement by the walls of the experimental duct is an important ingredient of the confined Holmboe instability, which gives rise to confined Holmboe waves, with implications for many inherently confined geophysical flows.

This talk is part of the BPI Seminar Series series.

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