Turbulence and Wave Breaking Effects on Air-Water Gas Exchange

Evelyn J. Boettcher1, Jay Fineberg1,2, and Daniel P. Lathrop1

1Institute of Plasma Research, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742

2The Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

Received 10 March 2000

We present an experimental characterization of the effects of turbulence and breaking gravity waves on air-water gas exchange in standing waves. We identify two regimes that govern aeration rates: turbulent transport when no wave breaking occurs and bubble dominated transport when wave breaking occurs. In both regimes, we correlate the qualitative changes in the aeration rate with corresponding changes in the wave dynamics. In the latter regime, the strongly enhanced aeration rate is correlated with measured acoustic emissions, indicating that bubble creation and dynamics dominate air-water exchange.

2000 The Ameri