Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

On the response of a reservoir sidearm to diurnal heating and cooling

Farrow, D.E. and Patterson, J.C. (1993) On the response of a reservoir sidearm to diurnal heating and cooling. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 246 . pp. 143-161.

PDF - Published Version
Download (1MB)
Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


During the day, the shallower regions of a reservoir sidearm absorb more heat per unit volume than the deeper parts, leading to a horizontal pressure gradient that drives a circulation in the sidearm. At night, the shallow regions cool more rapidly, leading to a circulation in the opposite direction. Since the spin-up time of a typical sidearm is at least of the same order as a day, the flow within a diurnally forced sidearm is principally an inertia–buoyancy balance. In this paper, a diurnally forced sidearm is modelled by periodically forced natural convection in a triangular cavity. The periodic forcing enters the model via an internal heating/cooling term in the temperature equation. Reservoir sidearms typically have small bottom slopes and this fact can be exploited to obtain asymptotic solutions of the resulting equations. These solutions clearly demonstrate the transition from the viscous-dominated flow in the shallows to the inertia-dominated flow in the deeper parts. In the inertia-dominated region, the flow response significantly lags the forcing. Numerical solutions of the full nonlinear problem are consistent with the asymptotic solutions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year