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Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 99, No. 1, February 2005, 117
 

Summary: Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics,
Vol. 99, No. 1, February 2005, 117
Quasi-two-dimensional turbulence on the polar
beta-plane: laboratory experiments
Y.D. AFANASYEV* and J. WELLS
Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL, Canada, AIB 3X7
(Received 22 July 2004; In final form 15 September 2004)
Results from a new series of experiments on turbulent flows decaying in a thin layer of water
with a free surface in a rotating circular container are presented. The flows are generated elec-
tromagnetically using a regular array of permanent magnets. The Particle Image Velocimetry
method is used to determine the velocity and vorticity fields in the flow. The experimental
results demonstrate the formation of a polar vortex and jets perturbed by stationary Rossby
waves in experiments with higher values of the beta parameter. Blocking events similar to
those occurring in the Earth's atmosphere were observed in the laboratory flows. The Two-
dimensional energy spectra of the flow demonstrate anisotropy in the space of the azimuthal
and total wavenumbers. The One-dimensional energy spectra are characterized by a peak at
the Rhines wavenumber.
Keywords: Beta-plane turbulence; Zonal jets; Rossby waves
1. Introduction

  

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

 

Collections: Geosciences