A Multipurpose Stratified Flow Flume
The growing environmental concern calls especially for an improved understanding of the basic physics of stratified flows in oceanography, meteorology as well as in civil engineering. The wide range of spatial and time scales encountered in nature combined with a wide spectrum of simultaneously imposed forcing functions — such as wind, tide, runoff, heating/cooling/freezing — makes it difficult and uncertain to interpret the in situ measurements. Hence, measurements under controlled laboratory conditions are advantageous, but as we intend to model complex nature, a high degree of flexibility in geometry and in imposed forcing functions is needed in the laboratory set-up. At our institute a stratified flow flume has been developed which to a great extent fulfils this demand for flexibility. First the layout and the basic ideas of the flume are presented. Next, a number of performed experiments within stratified flows are addressed. The main objective of the article is to promote the highly needed research on stratified flow by illustrating how to build and run a relatively inexpensive, multipurpose stratified flow flume.
KeywordsSalt Water Free Convection Force Function Standard Element Open Channel Flow
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