Internal gravity waves in the Rhine ROFI

Applicability of the KdV model

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The Rhine Region of Fresh Water Influence (ROFI) is a shallow frictional river plume in front of the Dutch coast. Each tidal cycle a new tidal plume front with fresh-water is released. Recently, internal gravity waves have been observed in this plume. Using a Froude number analysis, support for the internal wave generation mechanism by a tidal plume front is found. It is shown, that on averaged neap tides the density stratification is large. This results in a larger area where the internal waves can be released from the tidal plume fronts compared to spring tides. As the Rhine ROFI is located in shallow water, it is investigated what the effect of bathymetry variation is on internal waves. This is studied by extending the standard KdV model derivation to account for a variable bed. This resulted in a small correction on the propagation speed inside the KdV equation. Observations of internal waves have been used to validate the KdV model. By scaling analysis of the observed waves it is obtained that the relative wave height and relative depth balance for most of the observed events. For these events the wave period and velocity amplitude of the KdV model are well matched with the measurements. This showed that the KdV model may be used for a first estimate of internal waves in the Rhine ROFI. By developing a TGE fitting procedure, it was possible to obtain the pycnocline depth and the direction of wave propagation with only limited data available. Therefore, the parameters have been varied and the error between the TGE solution and the velocity potential obtained from the velocity measurements has been minimized.