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Fluids 2016, 1(3), 26; doi:10.3390/fluids1030026

Stabilization of Isolated Vortices in a Rotating Stratified Fluid

1
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
2
Department of Oceanography, Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pavel Berloff
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Geophysical Fluid Dynamics)
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Abstract

The key element of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics—reorganization of potential vorticity (PV) by nonlinear processes—is studied numerically for isolated vortices in a uniform environment. Many theoretical studies and laboratory experiments suggest that axisymmetric vortices with a Gaussian shape are not able to remain circular owing to the growth of small perturbations in the typical parameter range of abundant long-lived vortices. An example of vortex destabilization and the eventual formation of more intense self-propagating structures is presented using a 3D rotating stratified Boussinesq numerical model. The peak vorticity growth found during the stages of strong elongation and fragmentation is related to the transfer of available potential energy into kinetic energy of vortices. In order to develop a theoretical model of a stable circular vortex with a small Burger number compatible with observations, we suggest a simple stabilizing procedure involving the modification of peripheral PV gradients. The results have important implications for better understanding of real-ocean eddies. View Full-Text
Keywords: baroclinic instability; geophysical vortices; nonlinear processes baroclinic instability; geophysical vortices; nonlinear processes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sutyrin, G.G.; Radko, T. Stabilization of Isolated Vortices in a Rotating Stratified Fluid. Fluids 2016, 1, 26.

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