On spontaneous appearance of internal waves in an open-pool-type research reactor

Meital Geva, Moshe Bukai, Efi Zemach, Shani Gabay, Alexander Krakovich, Lev Shemer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Variation of temperature in time and space was recorded at multiple vertical locations in the course of initiation of a heated water layer in an open-pool research reactor of the Soreq Nuclear Research Center. The pool was initially filled with warm water, and heavier cooler water was then injected at the bottom of the facility. Different modes of coolant injection were employed in two different experiments. In both cases, a finite width thermocline that separated cool water at the lower part of the pool from the warm water in its upper part was observed. The thermocline gradually moved up eventually attaining a constant raise velocity. In both experiments, the thermocline characteristics were different, but wave-trains with notable temperature fluctuations were observed within the thermocline. The characteristic frequencies of oscillations were below the Brunt-Väisälä frequencies that characterize the density gradient within the thermoclines. The finite dimensions of the tank impose conditions in which standing internal waves with the length commensurate with tank size can be expected. The oscillations were thus associated with resonant internal waves excited by disturbances introduced by the coolant flow at the lower part of the pool. In both experiments, the measured wave spectra agree with the results of linear analysis of two-layer and three-layer stratification models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


FundersFunder number
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
PAZY Foundation5100034339


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