Internal wave

From Glossary of Meteorology



internal wave

A wave in fluid motion having its maximum amplitude within the fluid or at an internal boundary (interface).

The concepts of internal and external waves originated in the study of gravity waves in homogeneous incompressible fluids, and it makes no difference in the dynamics of the wave whether the static stability of the fluid is concentrated in a free surface or in an interface. However, internal waves in a fluid with continually varying density have maximum amplitudes and nodal surfaces within the fluid itself, so that these are properly distinguished from external waves.
Compare surface wave.


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