Internal hydraulic jumps and mixing in two-layer flows

David M. Holland, Rodolfo R. Rosales, Dan Stefanica, Esteban G. Tabak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internal hydraulic jumps in two-layer flows are studied, with particular emphasis on their role in entrainment and mixing. For highly entraining internal jumps, a new closure is proposed for the jump conditions. The closure is based on two main assumptions: (i) most of the energy dissipated at the jump goes into turbulence, and (ii) the amount of turbulent energy that a stably stratified flow may contain without immediately mixing further is bounded by a measure of the stratification. As a consequence of this closure, surprising bounds emerge, for example on the amount of entrainment that may take place at the location of the jump. These bounds are probably almost achieved by highly entraining internal jumps, such as those likely to develop in dense oceanic overflows. The values obtained here are in good agreement with the existing observations of the spatial development of oceanic downslope currents, which play a crucial role in the formation of abyssal and intermediate waters in the global ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Nov 10 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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