Combined PIV/PLIF measurements of a steady density current front

J. Ezequiel Martin, Marcelo H. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel method for combined particle image velocimetry and laser induced fluorescence is described and results from an experiment in a stratified flow are presented. A standard two-dimensional, one camera particle image velocimetry configuration is used, acquiring images of the seeding particles and the dye marking the current simultaneously and separating the two fields digitally. The implementation of the postprocessing method, its capabilities and the necessary conditions for its use are discussed in detail. The proposed method is applied to an arrested density current front. The front is made stationary by opposing a uniform velocity profile, obtained from the combination of a moving floor and the recirculation of fresh water in the channel. To improve the quality of the images, the current is made optically homogeneous by matching the refractivity index throughout the domain. Instantaneous and time averaged fields are obtained for both velocity and density. Simultaneous measurements of these fields provide insight in the mixing processes at the front of the density current. In particular persistent billow generation, similar to that found in shear layers and associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, is observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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