What does internal wave mean?

Definitions for internal wave
in·ter·nal wave

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word internal wave.


  1. Internal wave

    Internal waves are gravity waves that oscillate within a fluid medium, rather than on its surface. To exist, the fluid must be stratified: the density must change (continuously or discontinuously) with depth/height due to changes, for example, in temperature and/or salinity. If the density changes over a small vertical distance (as in the case of the thermocline in lakes and oceans or an atmospheric inversion), the waves propagate horizontally like surface waves, but do so at slower speeds as determined by the density difference of the fluid below and above the interface. If the density changes continuously, the waves can propagate vertically as well as horizontally through the fluid. Internal waves, also called internal gravity waves, go by many other names depending upon the fluid stratification, generation mechanism, amplitude, and influence of external forces. If propagating horizontally along an interface where the density rapidly decreases with height, they are specifically called interfacial (internal) waves. If the interfacial waves are large amplitude they are called internal solitary waves or internal solitons. If moving vertically through the atmosphere where substantial changes in air density influences their dynamics, they are called anelastic (internal) waves. If generated by flow over topography, they are called Lee waves or mountain waves. If the mountain waves break aloft, they can result in strong warm winds at the ground known as Chinook winds (in North America) or Foehn winds (in Europe). If generated in the ocean by tidal flow over submarine ridges or the continental shelf, they are called internal tides. If they evolve slowly compared to the Earth's rotational frequency so that their dynamics are influenced by the Coriolis effect, they are called inertia gravity waves or, simply, inertial waves. Internal waves are usually distinguished from Rossby waves, which are influenced by the change of Coriolis frequency with latitude.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of internal wave in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of internal wave in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9


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"internal wave." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/internal+wave>.

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