244 pages, 93 b/w photos, 137 illustrations
This 1997 book comprehensively describes all aspects of gravity flow, a physical process in the environment that is covered by many different disciplines, including meteorology, oceanography, the earth sciences and many industrial processes. No other book covers a similar range of information. This second edition includes much new material, and, like the first edition, the hardback has been very well received. Gravity currents are described with a variety of laboratory experiments, many from the author's own work. Now in paperback, Gravity Currents is a valuable supplementary textbook for undergraduates and a reference work for research workers. The general reader will also find much of interest, since the physics of the flows involved is clearly described, without advanced mathematics, by numerous photographs and illustrations.
From reviews of the first edition:
"Dr Simpson's book goes a long way to communicate the enormous wealth of information and insight gained by the author over a lifetime of study [...] a lucid and very readable account of almost every conceivable aspect of gravity currents and their natural manifestations [...] I would heartily recommend it to anyone with an interest in our fluid environment [...] as an all-too-rare example of a scientific 'good read'."
- Peter L. Read, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
"[...] a rich collection of photographs and diagrams of gravity currents in all sorts of environments. With a well balanced mixture of descriptive and analytical treatment of the physics, the book provides the natural scientist with an informative overview of this important dynamical process. Any scientist with even the slightest concern for fluid processes will be entertained and informed by Simpson's book, and students of fluid dynamics and other natural sciences will find a very accessible entry into this field."
- Limnology and Oceanography
"The subject is explained in lucid and precise language, with the help of many sketches, photos and diagrams [...] The second half of the book [...] should be required reading for every student of meteorology or oceanography [...] undoubted value as an introduction to key atmospheric phenomena of moderate scale."
- EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union
"[...] This new edition will continue to find a wide readership amongst meteorologists and oceanographers, at all levels from undergraduate to research specialist. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has an amateur or professional interest in small-scale or mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. It is rare to find an author who can communicate scientific ideas with such obvious enthusiasm."
"[...] I recommend it to both the general reader and the scientist with an interest or problem related to gravity currents."
- Debbie Abbs, World Meteorological Organization
"[...] each chapter is brief and very readable, with a largely non-mathematical approach, very well illustrated [...] provides an excellent review of a wide and fascinating field."
- Geological Magazine
"This book is a considerable expansion of an earlier edition published a decade ago and represents the accumulated wisdom of a career devoted to observation and laboratory simulation of small-scale environmental fluid mechanical phenomena. The result can be recommended enthusiastically both to experts in the field and readers who have more general interests in meteorology, oceanography, or other areas of fluid mechanics. [...] Simpson's highly readable book falls into the narrow class of serious monographs on fluid mechanics that also make excellent bed-time reading! The level of this book makes it very suitable for graduate students. This would be an excellent supplement to the usual meteorological curriculum that often slights the subject of dynamics of small-scale atmospheric phenomena."
"This book with its great variety of examples from the atmosphere, rivers and oceans and its many photos and lucid illustrations is wonderful to look at and highly pleasing to read."
- Ignaz Vergeiner, Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics
Foreword Steve Thorpe
1. The nature of gravity currents
2. Atmospheric gravity currents
3. Sea-breeze fronts
4. Gravity currents in satellite imagery
5. Fronts and topography
6. Environmental problems: atmosphere
7. Gravity currents in rivers, lakes and the ocean
8. Industrial problems with gravity currents: oceanography
10. Volcanic gravity currents
11. The anatomy of a gravity current
12. Spread of dense fluid
13. Ambient stratification
14. Ambient turbulence
15. Viscous gravity currents
16. Suspension flows
17. Gravity currents on a rotating earth
18. Numerical models of gravity currents
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