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Convection under internal waves in a mountain lake

By Hans van Haren and Henk A. Dijkstra

Abstract

Turbulent mixing processes in deep alpine Lake Garda (I) have not extensively been observed. Knowledge about drivers of turbulent fluxes are important for insights in the transport of matter, nutrients and pollutants, in the lake and in natural water bodies in general. In this paper, the occurrence of internal wave induced turbulent convection is addressed as opposed to the more common shear-induced turbulence in a density stratified environment. Observations are analyzed from a dedicated yearlong mooring holding 100 high-resolution temperature sensors at 1.5 m intervals under a single current meter in the deeper half of the 344 m deep lake-center. Episodically, the weakly density stratified waters in the lower 50 m above the lake floor show spectral slope and coherence evidence of short-term (15 to 30 minutes) convective motions under internal waves that are supported by the stronger stratified waters above. The near-homogeneous conditions are not attributable to frictional Ekman dynamics, but to large-scale internal wave crests.Comment: 19 pages, 4 figure

Topics: Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
Year: 2020
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:2002.02720

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