Infrared imagery of a turbulent intrusion in a stratified environment
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A time sequence of airborne infrared imagery provides a unique view of phenomena associated with a turbulent tidal intrusion into a stratified bay. During flood tide, cooler water from the Strait of Juan de Fuca is observed to penetrate Sequim Bay (Washington, U.S.V.) as a turbulent jet. After separating from the shoreline, the jet collapses into the stratified middle part of the bay, forming a mushroom-shaped head consisting of a semicircular plunge front and areas of recirculating flow. As the plunge front advances into the estuary, a set of nonlinear internal waves emerges and propagates toward the relatively stagnant southern part of the bay, where they are a potential source of vertical mixing. This range of phenomena is expected based on laboratory studies, but has not been seen previously in a natural setting.
KeywordsInternal Wave Flood Tide Nonlinear Internal Wave Ambient Stratification Infrared Imagery
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