Mixing efficiency in run-down gravity currents

Hughes, GO ; Linden, Paul Frederick (2016-12-25)


This paper presents measurements of mixing efficiency of the two counter-flowing gravity currents created by symmetric lock exchange in a channel. The novel feature of this work is that the buoyancy Reynolds number of the currents is higher than in previous experiments, so that the mixing is not significantly affected by viscosity. We find that the mixing efficiency asymptotes to 0.08 at high Reynolds numbers. We present a model of the mixing based on the evolution of idealized mean profiles of velocity and density at the interface between the two currents, the results of which are in good agreement with the measurements of mixing efficiency.