skip to main content

Title: Thermal shallow water models of geostrophic turbulence in Jovian atmospheres

Conventional shallow water theory successfully reproduces many key features of the Jovian atmosphere: a mixture of coherent vortices and stable, large-scale, zonal jets whose amplitude decreases with distance from the equator. However, both freely decaying and forced-dissipative simulations of the shallow water equations in Jovian parameter regimes invariably yield retrograde equatorial jets, while Jupiter itself has a strong prograde equatorial jet. Simulations by Scott and Polvani [“Equatorial superrotation in shallow atmospheres,” Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L24202 (2008)] have produced prograde equatorial jets through the addition of a model for radiative relaxation in the shallow water height equation. However, their model does not conserve mass or momentum in the active layer, and produces mid-latitude jets much weaker than the equatorial jet. We present the thermal shallow water equations as an alternative model for Jovian atmospheres. These equations permit horizontal variations in the thermodynamic properties of the fluid within the active layer. We incorporate a radiative relaxation term in the separate temperature equation, leaving the mass and momentum conservation equations untouched. Simulations of this model in the Jovian regime yield a strong prograde equatorial jet, and larger amplitude mid-latitude jets than the Scott and Polvani model. For both models, the slope ofmore » the non-zonal energy spectra is consistent with the classic Kolmogorov scaling, and the slope of the zonal energy spectra is consistent with the much steeper spectrum observed for Jupiter. We also perform simulations of the thermal shallow water equations for Neptunian parameter values, with a radiative relaxation time scale calculated for the same 25 mbar pressure level we used for Jupiter. These Neptunian simulations reproduce the broad, retrograde equatorial jet and prograde mid-latitude jets seen in observations. The much longer radiative time scale for the colder planet Neptune explains the transition from a prograde to a retrograde equatorial jet, while the broader jets are due to the deformation radius being a larger fraction of the planetary radius.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. OCIAM, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford OX2 6GG (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22257108
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Fluids (1994); Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMPLITUDES; ATMOSPHERES; ENERGY SPECTRA; EQUATIONS; JETS; JUPITER PLANET; NEPTUNE PLANET; RELAXATION TIME; SIMULATION; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; WATER