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Investigations of non-hydrostatic, stably stratified and rapidly rotating flows

  • David Nieves (a1), Ian Grooms (a1), Keith Julien (a1) and Jeffrey B. Weiss (a2)

Abstract

We present an investigation of rapidly rotating (small Rossby number $Ro\ll 1$ ) stratified turbulence where the stratification strength is varied from weak (large Froude number $Fr\gg 1$ ) to strong ( $Fr\ll 1$ ). The investigation is set in the context of a reduced model derived from the Boussinesq equations that retains anisotropic inertia-gravity waves with order-one frequencies and highlights a regime of wave–eddy interactions. Numerical simulations of the reduced model are performed where energy is injected by a stochastic forcing of vertical velocity, which forces wave modes only. The simulations reveal two regimes: characterized by the presence of well-formed, persistent and thin turbulent layers of locally weakened stratification at small Froude numbers, and by the absence of layers at large Froude numbers. Both regimes are characterized by a large-scale barotropic dipole enclosed by small-scale turbulence. When the Reynolds number is not too large, a direct cascade of barotropic kinetic energy is observed, leading to total energy equilibration. We examine net energy exchanges that occur through vortex stretching and vertical buoyancy flux and diagnose the horizontal scales active in these exchanges. We find that the baroclinic motions inject energy directly to the largest scales of the barotropic mode, implying that the large-scale barotropic dipole is not the end result of an inverse cascade within the barotropic mode.

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Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence: david.nieves@colorado.edu

References

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Investigations of non-hydrostatic, stably stratified and rapidly rotating flows

  • David Nieves (a1), Ian Grooms (a1), Keith Julien (a1) and Jeffrey B. Weiss (a2)

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