AbstractThe propagation of density currents in the presence of waves is experimentally investigated by considering a lock exchange schematization. In particular, we perform experiments considering the classical lock release, where the only driving force is buoyancy, as well as lock-exchange experiments with superimposed periodic surface waves, where the driving forces are both buoyancy and the wave-induced orbital motion. The application of an image processing technique is used for the detection of the main features of the front propagation (i.e depth, height, velocity etc.). All experiments are in full-depth conditions. The propagation of the waves is in intermediate water depth conditions. The presence of surface waves induces an orbital motion along the water column able to modify the dynamics of the density current propagation. Results show that the oscillation of the front advancement, as well as the oscillation of the gravity current depth observed in the presence of waves, are directly correlated with the wave period.
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