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Oscillatory internal shear layers in rotating and precessing flows

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2006

R. Hollerbach
Affiliation:
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
R. R. Kerswell
Affiliation:
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle NE1 7RU, UK

Abstract

We present a direct numerical solution of a particular inertial oscillation, the so-called 'spin-over’ mode, in spherical geometry. This mode is particularly relevant to the fluid flow within a precessing oblate spheroid. We demonstrate that the oscillatory Ekman layer breaks down at ±30° latitude, and that this breakdown spawns internal shear layers. We show that the structure of these shear layers is different for a full sphere and a spherical shell, as noted in the preceding paper (Kerswell 1995). Despite the existence of these shear layers, however, the numerical decay rates agree to within 1 % with the asymptotic decay rates, which neglect any possible shear layers. Finally, we consider the nonlinear mean flow profiles driven by this mode, and demonstrate that our numerical results agree reasonably well with experimental results.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1995 Cambridge University Press

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