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Entropy 2009, 11(3), 360-383; doi:10.3390/e11030360

Entropic Forces in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C., Canada
Received: 2 June 2009 / Accepted: 1 August 2009 / Published: 7 August 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concepts of Entropy)
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Abstract

Theories and numerical models of atmospheres and oceans are based on classical mechanics with added parameterizations to represent subgrid variability. Reformulated in terms of derivatives of information entropy with respect to large scale configurations, we find systematic forces very different from those usually assumed. Two examples are given. We see that entropic forcing by ocean eddies systematically drives, rather than retards, large scale circulation. Additionally we find that small scale turbulence systematically drives up gradient (“un-mixing”) fluxes. Such results confront usual understanding and modeling practice.
Keywords: turbulence; waves; ocean circulation; mixing; subgrid modeling turbulence; waves; ocean circulation; mixing; subgrid modeling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Holloway, G. Entropic Forces in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. Entropy 2009, 11, 360-383.

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