Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Crisciani F., Badin G., Mosetti R. On the benthic Ekman layer. In: Nuovo Cimento Della Societa Italiana Di Fisica C-Geophysics and Space Physics, vol. 31 (3) pp. 339 - 355. SocietÓ Italiana Fisica, 2008.
A review of the standard model of the benthic Ekman layer is presented and reformulated in terms of relative vorticity in place of horizontal current. In this context, the possibility to use mixed boundary conditions to model this layer is explored. The related model solutions can be cast into two main groups: the first is a generalization of the classical Ekman result, while the second one has some unexpected features which are problematic with respect to the Ekman pumping process. An investigation on the finite amplitude stability via the Lyapunov method that solutions belonging to the first group are stable while, in the second group, solutions are unstable. This fact poses a physical constraint to the set of the admissible boundary conditions. Finally, a connection between mass transport and boundary condition at the sea floor is, numerically investigated.
DOI: 10.1393/ncc/i2008-10315-4
Subject Instability

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