Physical Oceanography, Vol.
THERMOHYDRODYNAMICS OF THE OCEAN
BAROCLINIC SEICHES IN ROTATING BASINS OF VARIABLE DEPTH
IN THE CASE OF TWO-LAYER DENSITY STRATIFICATION
S. F. Dotsenko
and N. A. Miklashevskaya
We solve a plane problem of linear baroclinic seiches in closed rotating basins of variable depth with
two-layer density stratification. In the long-wave approximation, we get a boundary-value problem for a
system of ordinary differential equations and propose a numerical procedure for finding internal seiches.
The analytic solutions of the problem are obtained for a basin of constant depth. The numerical analysis
of seiches is performed for the distributions of depth corresponding to the zonal and meridional sections
of the Black Sea and model basins including the cases of a shelf zone and an underwater ridge. It is
shown that the baroclinic seiches become more intense in shallow-water regions and that the intense
longshore currents caused by Earth’s rotation are formed in the shelf zones and over the underwater
Seiches are free standing waves formed in closed or semiclosed basins [1–4]. They are, as a rule, induced
by the time variations of baric fields , the action of nonstationary wind stresses upon the water surface or its
termination , sharp elevations and lowerings of areas of the free surface of the liquid caused by the inflow or
outflow of waters, precipitation, seismic motions of Earth’s crust in the zone of the basin , and reflections of
internal tides from the upper boundary of the continental slope .
Seiches make a noticeable contribution to the space-and-time variations of the hydrodynamic fields in lakes
and bays and affect the processes of transfer and mixing in aqueous media, as well as the redistribution of chem-
ical and biological substances . The character of these processes is strongly affected by the density stratifica-
The space structure and parameters of standing internal waves in closed water basin (baroclinic seiches) de-
pend on the geometry of the basin and the density (temperature and/or haline) stratification. Although the first
theoretical and experimental investigations of the structure of baroclinic seiches and related currents in lakes
were carried out almost 100 years ago , the internal seiches are studied much less comprehensively than the
barotropic seiches. In numerous theoretical works, the analysis of baroclinic seiches was performed within the
framework of two- and three-layer models of marine media [10, 11]. A survey of the contemporary state of the
problem of baroclinic seiches can be found in .
The mathematical models aimed at the analysis of internal seiches and the mechanisms of their generation
in rotating basins of variable depth require subsequent development.
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Corresponding author; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
3–14, May–June, 2010. Original article submitted January 19, 2009; revi-
sion submitted February 16, 2009.
0928–5105/10/2010–0157 © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 157