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Sutherland B.R. Internal Gravity Waves

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Sutherland B.R. Internal Gravity Waves
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. - 395 p.
Why write a book on internal gravity waves when so many other books cover the subject already? The textbooks listed in the appendix include at least some discussion of internal gravity waves. Some focus upon interfacial waves, which are internal gravity waves at interfaces; some focus upon internal waves, which exist in continuously stratified fluid. Different books emphasize different dynamics such as mechanisms for generation, propagation in non-uniform media, nonlinear evolution and stability. Textbooks on geophysical fluid dynamics (e.g. Gill (1982), Vallis (2006)) understandably devote only a chapter to the subject because, although internal waves are non-negligible in their influence upon global weather and ocean circulation patterns, they are by no means dominant. Internal waves are noise, if sometimes irritatingly loud. Textbooks on the theory of waves and instability (e.g. Whitham (1974), Lighthill (1978), Drazin and Reid (1981), Craik (1985)) examine how non-uniform media and nonlinearity affect the evolution of interfacial and internal waves. But these books can be daunting to graduate students lacking strong mathematical backgrounds. Textbooks on stratified fluid dynamics (e.g. Turner (1973), Baines (1995)) help to provide physical insight into the dynamics of internal gravity waves through a combination of theory and laboratory experiments, though sometimes without providing the mathematical details. Some textbooks are devoted to the subject of internal gravity waves (e.g. Miropol’sky (2001), Nappo (2002), Vlasenko et al. (2005)), but these focus either on atmospheric or oceanic waves. The approach taken here is to provide the physics and mathematics describing internal gravity waves in a way that is accessible to students who have been exposed to multivariable calculus and ordinary differential equations. An understanding of partial differential equations, though useful, is not necessary. A background in atmosphere–ocean science and fluid dynamics is not assumed.
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