Indexed on: 25 Dec '13Published on: 25 Dec '13Published in: Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Lake Villarrica, located in south central Chile, has a maximum depth of 167 m and a maximum fetch of about 20 km. The lake is monomictic, with a seasonal thermocline located at a depth of approximately 20 m. Field data show the presence of basin-scale internal waves that are forced by daily winds and affected by Coriolis acceleration. A modal linear and non-linear analysis of internal waves has been used, assuming a two-layer system. The numerical simulations show good agreement with the internal wave field observations. The obtained modes were used to study the energy dissipation within the system, which is necessary to control the amplitude growth. Field data and numerical simulations identify (1) the occurrence of a horizontal mode 1 Kelvin wave, with a period of about a day that coincides with the frequency of daily winds, suggesting that this mode of the Kelvin waves is in a resonant state (subject to damping and controlled by frictional effects in the field) and (2) the presence of higher-frequency internal waves, which are excited by non-linear interactions between basin-scale internal waves. The non-linear simulation indicates that only 10 % of the dissipation rate of the Kelvin wave is because of bottom friction, while the rest 90 % represents the energy that is radiated from the Kelvin wave to other modes. Also, this study shows that modes with periods between 5 and 8 h are excited by non-linear interactions between the fundamental Kelvin wave and horizontal Poincaré-type waves. A laboratory study of the resonant interaction between a periodic forcing and the internal wave field response has also been performed, confirming the resonance for the horizontal mode 1 Kelvin wave.