Standing shocks in a rotating channel

Tivon E. Jacobson, Esteban G. Tabak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the stationary shallow water shocks occurring in a reentrant rotating channel with wind stress and topography. Asymptotic predictions for the shock location, strength, and associated energy dissipation are developed by taking the topographic perturbation to be small. It is shown that under appropriate conditions, a mean flow develops under the action of the wind stress, with a transverse profile determined by the need to support stationary shocks. The scaling arguments for the asymptotics are developed by demanding integrated energy and momentum balance, with the result that the free surface perturbation is of the order of the square root of the topographic perturbation. Shock formation requires that linear waves be nondispersive, which sets a solvability condition on the mean flow and which leads to a class of generalized Kelvin waves. Two-dimensional shock-resolving numerical simulations validate the asymptotic expressions and demonstrate the presence of stationary separated flow shocks in some cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3765-3778
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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