Inertial Recirculation in a β-Plane Corner

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  • 1 Fluids Research Oriented Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton Michigan
  • | 2 Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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Abstract

A sub-basin scale recirculation can be driven by imposing low values of potential vorticity in the northwest corner of a β-Plane box. Mesoscale eddies parametrized by lateral potential vorticity diffusion, carry this anomaly into the interior and establish the mean flow. While the structure of the flow is not sensitive to details of the boundary forcing or to the size of the diffusion coefficient, κ, the amplitude and length scale are. For instance, as, κ is reduced, the maximum transport scales as κ½ and the Reynolds number as κ−½.

Abstract

A sub-basin scale recirculation can be driven by imposing low values of potential vorticity in the northwest corner of a β-Plane box. Mesoscale eddies parametrized by lateral potential vorticity diffusion, carry this anomaly into the interior and establish the mean flow. While the structure of the flow is not sensitive to details of the boundary forcing or to the size of the diffusion coefficient, κ, the amplitude and length scale are. For instance, as, κ is reduced, the maximum transport scales as κ½ and the Reynolds number as κ−½.

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