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Dispersive–Dissipative Eddy Parameterization in a Barotropic Model

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  • 1 Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory,* Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • | 2 Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Abstract

Recently a new class of coarse-grained equations, known as α models, have been proposed for the mean motion of an ideal incompressible fluid. The use of one such model to represent the time-mean component of a turbulent β-plane circulation characterized by potential vorticity mixing is considered. In particular, the focus is on the wind-driven circulation in a shallow ocean basin, a problem well studied as a prototype of more realistic ocean dynamics. The authors demonstrate the ability of an α model to reproduce qualitatively the structure of a four-gyre circulation that forms (in the time mean) when the barotropic vorticity equation is driven by a symmetric, double-gyre wind forcing, and when the dissipation is weak. This is offered as a first step in assessing the utility of the α-model approach to simulating more complex geophysical flows.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Balasubramanya T. Nadiga, Earth and Environmental Sciences, MS-B296, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545.Email: balu@lanl.gov

Abstract

Recently a new class of coarse-grained equations, known as α models, have been proposed for the mean motion of an ideal incompressible fluid. The use of one such model to represent the time-mean component of a turbulent β-plane circulation characterized by potential vorticity mixing is considered. In particular, the focus is on the wind-driven circulation in a shallow ocean basin, a problem well studied as a prototype of more realistic ocean dynamics. The authors demonstrate the ability of an α model to reproduce qualitatively the structure of a four-gyre circulation that forms (in the time mean) when the barotropic vorticity equation is driven by a symmetric, double-gyre wind forcing, and when the dissipation is weak. This is offered as a first step in assessing the utility of the α-model approach to simulating more complex geophysical flows.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Balasubramanya T. Nadiga, Earth and Environmental Sciences, MS-B296, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545.Email: balu@lanl.gov

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