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Instability of Shielded Surface Temperature Vortices BENJAMIN J. HARVEY AND MAARTEN H. P. AMBAUM
 

Summary: Instability of Shielded Surface Temperature Vortices
BENJAMIN J. HARVEY AND MAARTEN H. P. AMBAUM
Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
XAVIER J. CARTON
LPO, UBO/UEB, Brest, France
(Manuscript received 13 September 2010, in final form 9 December 2010)
ABSTRACT
The stability characteristics of the surface quasigeostrophic shielded Rankine vortex are found using
a linearized contour dynamics model. Both the normal modes and nonmodal evolution of the system are
analyzed and the results are compared with two previous studies. One is a numerical study of the instability
of smooth surface quasigeostrophic vortices with which qualitative similarities are found and the other is
a corresponding study for the two-dimensional Euler system with which several notable differences are
highlighted.
1. Introduction
The surface quasigeostrophic (SQG) model (Held
et al. 1995) is an approximation of the motion of a rap-
idly rotating stratified fluid near a horizontal boundary.
It represents planar advection of the boundary tempera-
ture field under the assumption of uniform interior po-
tential vorticity. This is in essence a two-dimensional

  

Source: Ambaum, Maarten - Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

 

Collections: Geosciences