When I was visiting Elin a couple of weeks ago, I was hoping to set up an impressive Taylor column experiment. Maybe my expectations were too high of what is possible to achieve in terms of visualization and I got too convinced of my own sketch to appreciate reality?
In any case, the picture at the top of this post is as good as it got. We see that the blue dye is stopped by something located above the hockey puck (the Taylor column!), but all the turbulence in the dye curtain makes it difficult to see what is directly due to the Taylor column and what is just pretty 2-D turbulence.
Swimming drones and cables that can measure everything from temperature to traffic intensity? Robots that can swim down and collect data from deployed instruments… and charge the batteries while it’s there? Souns like science fiction, but it is all happening at NORCE! Yesterday we visited Anne Hageberg and her colleagues at the marine technology department to learn about all the exciting stuff that they are developing. If things work out we will bring some of them on the next student cruise in March. That would indeed be cool!
Swimming drone I – the drone can be loaded with sensors and then programmed to swim where you want it to go… or controlled manually, if you prefer.
One experiment we wanted to run with the GEOF213 course this year were the Topographic Rossby Waves.
The idea is quite simple: We set a solid cylinder in the center of our tank and connect it with a ridge to the tank’s edge. The ridge is just a piece of hose that is taped radially to the bottom of the tank. We then spin the whole thing into solid body rotation. Once it is spun up, we add dye around the central cylinder. We then slow the tank down a tiny little bit, just enough so the water is moving relative to the tank and the ridge.
In both the picture above and below you see just that: Upstream of the ridge, the flow is (relatively) steady. But downstream of the ridge, topographic Rossby waves start developing.
In the end, we felt like the experiment was too difficult to run to rely on it working out when presenting it in class. But that doesn’t mean that I have given up on it. I will conquer the topographic Rossby waves eventually, so stay tuned! 🙂