Zonal Flow as Pattern Formation: Merging Jets and the Ultimate Jet Length Scale

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Description

Zonal flows are well known to arise spontaneously out of turbulence. It is shown that for statisti- cally averaged equations of quasigeostrophic turbulence on a beta plane, zonal flows and inhomoge- neous turbulence fit into the framework of pattern formation. There are many implications. First, the zonal flow wavelength is not unique. Indeed, in an idealized, infinite system, any wavelength within a certain continuous band corresponds to a solution. Second, of these wavelengths, only those within a smaller subband are linearly stable. Unstable wavelengths must evolve to reach a stable wavelength; this process manifests as merging jets.

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Krommes, Jeffrey B. Parker and John A. January 30, 2013.

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Description

Zonal flows are well known to arise spontaneously out of turbulence. It is shown that for statisti- cally averaged equations of quasigeostrophic turbulence on a beta plane, zonal flows and inhomoge- neous turbulence fit into the framework of pattern formation. There are many implications. First, the zonal flow wavelength is not unique. Indeed, in an idealized, infinite system, any wavelength within a certain continuous band corresponds to a solution. Second, of these wavelengths, only those within a smaller subband are linearly stable. Unstable wavelengths must evolve to reach a stable wavelength; this process manifests as merging jets.

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  • Physical Review Letters (January 2013)

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  • Report No.: PPPL-4851
  • Grant Number: DE-ACO2-09CH11466
  • DOI: 10.2172/1062392 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1062392
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837200

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Creation Date

  • January 30, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 27, 2016, 7:16 p.m.

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Krommes, Jeffrey B. Parker and John A. Zonal Flow as Pattern Formation: Merging Jets and the Ultimate Jet Length Scale, report, January 30, 2013; Princeton, New Jersey. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837200/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.