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Dipolar gyres generated by continuous forcing on a polar -plane Y. D. Afanasyeva

Summary: Dipolar gyres generated by continuous forcing on a polar -plane
Y. D. Afanasyeva
and V. Jewtoukoff
Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X7, Canada
Received 18 March 2009; accepted 22 May 2009; published online 26 June 2009
Dipolar vortices generated by a force applied to an area of finite size are investigated in a rotating,
polar -plane fluid. The laboratory polar -plane is dynamically equivalent to the polar regions of
the ocean or the atmosphere where the Coriolis parameter varies quadratically with latitude. Both
forced and unforced evolution of the flow is observed. The altimetric imaging velocimetry method
is employed for imaging the rotating flows and measuring the velocity and surface elevation fields.
The forced dipoles were observed to rotate in the anticyclonic direction from their initial orientation
where the axis of the dipole is aligned with the direction of the force toward some steady state where
the axis of the dipole is at an angle to the direction of the force. The theoretical prediction of the
rotation angle is found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. Asymptotic solutions
for limiting cases when forced dipoles are affected either by the Ekman-type bottom friction or by
the -effect are found. The experiments also demonstrate that the unforced free dipoles rotate
anticyclonically with almost steady rate and emit basin-scale Rossby waves. 2009 American
Institute of Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.3156007
Polar -plane otherwise known as -plane provides a


Source: Afanassiev, Iakov - Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland


Collections: Geosciences