Momentum Transport by Quasi-Geostrophic Eddies

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  • 1 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J. 08540
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Abstract

Some results due to Kuo concerning momentum fluxes in barotropic flows are generalized so as to apply to quasi-geostrophic flows on a beta-plane. It is shown that linear, amplifying waves on an arbitrary zonal flow cause a net transport of westerly momentum out of that part of the fluid in which Raleigh's stability criterion (as generalized by Charney and Stern, and by Pedlosky) is satisfied locally. Also, it is shown that if quasi-geostrophic eddies are introduced by some “external” agent into a region in which the zonal flow satisfies the stability criterion, then westerly momentum will flow into this region.

Abstract

Some results due to Kuo concerning momentum fluxes in barotropic flows are generalized so as to apply to quasi-geostrophic flows on a beta-plane. It is shown that linear, amplifying waves on an arbitrary zonal flow cause a net transport of westerly momentum out of that part of the fluid in which Raleigh's stability criterion (as generalized by Charney and Stern, and by Pedlosky) is satisfied locally. Also, it is shown that if quasi-geostrophic eddies are introduced by some “external” agent into a region in which the zonal flow satisfies the stability criterion, then westerly momentum will flow into this region.

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