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Low frequency modulation of jets in quasigeostrophic turbulence

Suhas, DL and Sukhatme, Jai (2015) Low frequency modulation of jets in quasigeostrophic turbulence. In: PHYSICS OF FLUIDS, 27 (1).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1063/1.4905710


Quasigeostrophic turbulence on a beta-plane with a finite deformation radius is studied numerically, with particular emphasis on frequency and combined wavenumber-frequency domain analyses. Under suitable conditions, simulations with small-scale random forcing and large-scale drag exhibit a spontaneous formation of multiple zonal jets. The first hint of wave-like features is seen in the distribution of kinetic energy as a function of frequency; specifically, for progressively larger deformation scales, there are systematic departures in the form of isolated peaks (at progressively higher frequencies) from a power-law scaling. Concomitantly, there is an inverse flux of kinetic energy in frequency space which extends to lower frequencies for smaller deformation scales. The identification of these peaks as Rossby waves is made possible by examining the energy spectrum in frequency-zonal wavenumber and frequency-meridional wavenumber diagrams. In fact, the modified Rhines scale turns out to be a useful measure of the dominant meridional wavenumber of the modulating Rossby waves; once this is fixed, apart from a spectral peak at the origin (the steady jet), almost all the energy is contained in westward propagating disturbances that follow the theoretical Rossby dispersion relation. Quite consistently, noting that the zonal scale of the modulating waves is restricted to the first few wavenumbers, the energy spectrum is almost entirely contained within the corresponding Rossby dispersion curves on a frequency-meridional wavenumber diagram. Cases when jets do not form are also considered; once again, there is a hint of Rossby wave activity, though the spectral peaks are quite muted. Further, the kinetic energy scaling in frequency domain follows a -5/3 power-law and is distributed much more broadly in frequency-wavenumber diagrams. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER INST PHYSICS, 1305 WALT WHITMAN RD, STE 300, MELVILLE, NY 11747-4501 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2015 12:10
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2018 10:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51057

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