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Critical reflection of internal waves : nonlinear aspects

When an internal waves encounters a boundary, the reflection process is very different than for classical waves, like acoustic or optical waves. Because of the particular dispersion relation for internal waves, the wavelength is modified by the reflection although no nonlinear process is involved. With this process, linear waves can be focused and eventually reach nonlinear regimes and break.

In order to learn more about this process, we performed several experiments at the Coriolis Platform.

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Experiment at the Coriolis Platform
The wavemaker is on the left, the 3D PIV scanner on the right

We used the Internal wave maker designed in 2007 to generate an internal wave beam impinging a linear slope.

L. Gostiaux, T. Dauxois, H. Didelle, J. Sommeria, S. Viboud
Quantitative laboratory observations of internal wave reflection on ascending slopes,
Phys. Fluids 18, 056602. (2007)

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Horizontal velocity fields filtered at the fundamental
Champs filtrés à la fréquence fondamentale. Les axes horizontaux
vont de 0 à 280 cm, les axes verticaux de 0 à 80 cm, l’origine étant prise au début
de la pente. La palette de couleur va de −3 à +3 mm.s−1.
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