A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON EXPERIMENTS WITH THERMALLY PRODUCED LATERAL MIXING IN A ROTATING HEMISPHERICAL SHELL OF LIQUID

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  • 1 University of Chicago
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Abstract

Experiments suggested by certain theoretical ideas concerning the influence of lateral mixing on the relative circulations in thin, rotating spherical shells of liquid are described. In a hemispherical shell heated from below at the pole, it is found that systematic relative zonal circulations develop when the shell is rotating but not when it is stationary. Averages of the relative circulations show a well-defined zone of easterly motion from the equator to about latitude 30°, and a zone of predominantly westerly motion from 30° toward higher latitudes. The average speeds, when expressed nondimensionally, have the same order of magnitude as average zonal speeds, similarly expressed, in the free atmosphere of the earth. A preliminary result, over a small range of rates of heating and angular velocities, gives approximate proportionality between a rate-of-heating parameter and the total kinetic energy of the average relative zonal motion.

Abstract

Experiments suggested by certain theoretical ideas concerning the influence of lateral mixing on the relative circulations in thin, rotating spherical shells of liquid are described. In a hemispherical shell heated from below at the pole, it is found that systematic relative zonal circulations develop when the shell is rotating but not when it is stationary. Averages of the relative circulations show a well-defined zone of easterly motion from the equator to about latitude 30°, and a zone of predominantly westerly motion from 30° toward higher latitudes. The average speeds, when expressed nondimensionally, have the same order of magnitude as average zonal speeds, similarly expressed, in the free atmosphere of the earth. A preliminary result, over a small range of rates of heating and angular velocities, gives approximate proportionality between a rate-of-heating parameter and the total kinetic energy of the average relative zonal motion.

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