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Rotating dipolar gyres on a -plane Oleg G. Derzho1,2

Summary: Rotating dipolar gyres on a -plane
Oleg G. Derzho1,2
and Yakov D. Afanasyev2,a
Institute of Thermophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, A1B 3X7 Newfoundland, Canada
Received 29 August 2007; accepted 11 February 2008; published online 14 March 2008
Nonlinear dipolar vortices/gyres on a -plane are investigated both experimentally and theoretically.
The solutions describe a fundamental dipolar mode of large scale barotropic motion of the polar
ocean or atmosphere on the rotating planet. The entire dipolar gyre is predicted to rotate
anticyclonically with a specific angular velocity. The existence and stability of the theoretically
predicted flow are confirmed in a laboratory experiment on a rotating platform. The laboratory flows
are induced by an electromagnetic method and are observed using the nonintrusive optical method
of altimetric imaging velocimetry. The rotation rate of the experimental flow is in good agreement
with that predicted theoretically. Detailed measurements of the velocity field and surface elevation
demonstrate that an assumption of linearity of the relation between the relative vorticity and the
stream function is valid. 2008 American Institute of Physics. DOI: 10.1063/1.2890083


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


Collections: Geosciences