Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems

Cossu, Remo and Wells, Mathew G. (2010) Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems. Geophysical Research Letters, 37 17: 1-6. doi:10.1029/2010GL044296

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Author Cossu, Remo
Wells, Mathew G.
Title Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems
Journal name Geophysical Research Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-8276
1944-8007
Publication date 2010-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1029/2010GL044296
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 37
Issue 17
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ 07030 United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract A combination of centrifugal and Coriolis forces drive the secondary circulation of turbidity currents in sinuous channels, and hence determine where erosion and deposition of sediment occur. Using laboratory experiments we show that when centrifugal forces dominate, the density interface shows a superelevation at the outside of a channel bend. However when Coriolis forces dominate, the interface is always deflected to the right (in the Northern Hemisphere) for both left and right turning bends. The relative importance of either centrifugal or Coriolis forces can be described in terms of a Rossby number defined as Ro = U/fR, where U is the mean downstream velocity, f the Coriolis parameter and R the radius of curvature of the channel bend. Channels with larger bends at high latitudes have ∣Ro∣ < 1 and are dominated by Coriolis forces, whereas smaller, tighter bends at low latitudes have ∣Ro∣ ≫ 1 and are dominated by centrifugal forces.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 18 Feb 2016, 21:17:55 EST by Jeannette Watson on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering