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J. Fluid Mech. (2001), vol. 437, pp. 283299. Printed in the United Kingdom c 2001 Cambridge University Press
 

Summary: J. Fluid Mech. (2001), vol. 437, pp. 283­299. Printed in the United Kingdom
c 2001 Cambridge University Press
283
Numerical study of the motions
within a slowly precessing sphere
at low Ekman number
By J ´E R ^O ME NO IR, D. JAUL T AND P. CARDIN
LGIT, CNRS, Universit´e Joseph Fourier, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble, France
(Received 9 September 2000 and in revised form 27 December 2000)
A geostrophic circulation and a pair of oblique oscillating shear layers arise in a
spherical fluid cavity contained in a slowly precessing rigid body. Both are caused
by the breakdown of the Ekman boundary layer at two critical circles. We rely on
numerical modelling to characterize these motions for very small Ekman numbers.
Both the O(E1/5
) amplitude of the velocity in the oscillating shear layer and the
width (also O(E1/5
)) of these oblique layers are the result of influx into the interior
from the regions where the Ekman layer breaks down. The oscillating motions are
confined to narrow shear layers and their amplitude decays exponentially away from
the characteristic surfaces. Nonlinear interactions inside the boundary layer drive the

  

Source: Aurnou, Jonathan - Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles

 

Collections: Geosciences