The instability of a stratified periodic boundary layer

Christian Von Kerczek, Stephen H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A vertical plate oscillating vertically in a statically stably-stratified, fluid induces an internal wave damped by viscous forces. A two-dimensional linear stability analysis of this time-dependent state shows that the wave is highly unstable when the buoyancy and forcing frequencies are comparable. This gravitational (buoyancy) instability is due to the presence of the background stratification. The neutral curve is calculated and the system energetics are explored. Excellent agreement is obtained with the recent experimental observations of Robinson & McEwan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-303
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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