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Zonal jets and cyclone-anticyclone asymmetry in decaying rotating turbulence: laboratory experiments and numerical simulations

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Zitation

Espa, S., Bordi, I., Frisius, T., Fraedrich, K., Cenedese, A., & Sutera, A. (2012). Zonal jets and cyclone-anticyclone asymmetry in decaying rotating turbulence: laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTROPHYSICAL FLUID DYNAMICS, 106(6), 557-573. doi:10.1080/03091929.2011.637301.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-2FF1-0
Zusammenfassung
The problem of zonal jet formation and cyclone-anticyclone asymmetry in decaying rotating turbulence is addressed using both laboratory experiments and numerical simulations with a high-resolution shallow water model in a spherical geometry. Experiments are performed at different Rossby and Froude numbers and applying a rigid wall as meridional boundary in the numerical scheme to mimic the experimental apparatus. The formation of a zonally banded flow pattern, i.e. meridionally confined easterly/westerly jets, has observed; both experimental and numerical results confirmed that this tendency is favoured by high-planetary vorticity gradients. Also, in the experiments characterized by large rotation speeds and small Rossby deformation radius, an initial symmetric distribution of relative vorticity is found to evolve towards a dominance of anticyclonic structures, indicating a breaking of the cyclone-anticyclone symmetry. This aspect has deepened by numerically analysing the sensitivity of the temporal variations of the asymmetry index with respect to the position of the meridional confinement as well as the effect of relaxing the divergence of the fluid (i.e. non-divergent case) to zero. Results suggested that experiments characterized by the higher rotation speed and the lower fluid thickness are better reproduced by a divergent model with a high-latitude meridional boundary.