Current Deflections in the Vicinity of Multiple Seamounts

Xiuzhang Zhang Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Search for other papers by Xiuzhang Zhang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Don L. Boyer Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Search for other papers by Don L. Boyer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

A laboratory study has been conducted on the deflection of steady and oscillatory free stream currents impinging on two model seamounts of identical shape. The laboratory model includes the effects of background rotation (f-plane) and stratification (linear). The flows are generated by towing obstacles through a fluid medium that is otherwise at rest with respect to an observer fixed with the rotating frame. The system behavior is investigated as a function of the normalized obstacle separation distance, G = G*/D, and angle, θ between the line connecting the obstacle centers and the free-stream direction; here G* is the obstacle center-to-center separation distance and D is the base width of one of the obstacles. The temporal Rossby (for oscillatory cases), Burger, and Ekman numbers and the remaining geometrical parameters are fixed for all of the experiments; characteristic flow variations with the Rossby number, R0, are investigated.

For the ranges of parameters considered, two characteristic flows are observed with the particular details of the motions depending strongly on G and θ. The first, generally occurring at small R0, is an attached leeside eddy regime in which eddies are attached to the lee of the topographic features and for which the general flow field is steady. The second, at higher R0, is an eddy-shedding regime in which eddy structures are periodically formed in the vicinity of the obstacles and shed downstream. Some comments are made on the possible importance of the flow in the vicinity of Fieberling Guyot as it might be affected by its neighbors Fieberling II Seamount and Hoke Guyot.

Abstract

A laboratory study has been conducted on the deflection of steady and oscillatory free stream currents impinging on two model seamounts of identical shape. The laboratory model includes the effects of background rotation (f-plane) and stratification (linear). The flows are generated by towing obstacles through a fluid medium that is otherwise at rest with respect to an observer fixed with the rotating frame. The system behavior is investigated as a function of the normalized obstacle separation distance, G = G*/D, and angle, θ between the line connecting the obstacle centers and the free-stream direction; here G* is the obstacle center-to-center separation distance and D is the base width of one of the obstacles. The temporal Rossby (for oscillatory cases), Burger, and Ekman numbers and the remaining geometrical parameters are fixed for all of the experiments; characteristic flow variations with the Rossby number, R0, are investigated.

For the ranges of parameters considered, two characteristic flows are observed with the particular details of the motions depending strongly on G and θ. The first, generally occurring at small R0, is an attached leeside eddy regime in which eddies are attached to the lee of the topographic features and for which the general flow field is steady. The second, at higher R0, is an eddy-shedding regime in which eddy structures are periodically formed in the vicinity of the obstacles and shed downstream. Some comments are made on the possible importance of the flow in the vicinity of Fieberling Guyot as it might be affected by its neighbors Fieberling II Seamount and Hoke Guyot.

Save