Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 02

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Volume 22, No. 2
Pages 228 - 233

Kayaking with Bernoulli

Burkard Baschek David M. Farmer
First Paragraph

In the narrow channels along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, powerful tidal currents generate spectacular rapids sometimes exceeding 8.6 m s-1. The Nakwakto tidal rapids are an especially impressive natural fluid mechanics laboratory and a beautiful example of Daniel Bernoulli's famous principle of energy conservation in a fluid. Boundary-layer separation from irregular shorelines generates intense shears with highly energetic whirlpools that draw gas bubbles to great depth, enhancing aeration of the water. Large standing waves form in the wake of an island. In these environments, fresh surface water from the extensive inlets of the mainland coast and saltier water from the Pacific Ocean are mixed thoroughly throughout the water column. In this article we describe unusual measurements acquired in Nakwakto Rapids, an outstanding educational laboratory with unique opportunities for studying hydrodynamics.


Baschek, B., and D.M. Farmer. 2009. Kayaking with Bernoulli. Oceanography 22(2):228–233, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.51.


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