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Fluids 2016, 1(3), 30;

Meridional and Zonal Wavenumber Dependence in Tracer Flux in Rossby Waves

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Academic Editor: Pavel S. Berloff
Received: 22 July 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Geophysical Fluid Dynamics)
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Eddy-driven jets are of importance in the ocean and atmosphere, and to a first approximation are governed by Rossby wave dynamics. This study addresses the time-dependent flux of fluid and a passive tracer between such a jet and an adjacent eddy, with specific regard to determining zonal and meridional wavenumber dependence. The flux amplitude in wavenumber space is obtained, which is easily computable for a given jet geometry, speed and latitude, and which provides instant information on the wavenumbers of the Rossby waves which maximize the flux. This new tool enables the quick determination of which modes are most influential in imparting fluid exchange, which in the long term will homogenize the tracer concentration between the eddy and the jet. The results are validated by computing backward- and forward-time finite-time Lyapunov exponent fields, and also stable and unstable manifolds; the intermingling of these entities defines the region of chaotic transport between the eddy and the jet. The relationship of all of these to the time-varying transport flux between the eddy and the jet is carefully elucidated. The flux quantification presented here works for general time-dependence, whether or not lobes (intersection regions between stable and unstable manifolds) are present in the mixing region, and is therefore also easily computable for wave packets consisting of infinitely many wavenumbers. View Full-Text
Keywords: maximum flux; mid-latitude cyclones; oceanic jets; chaotic transport maximum flux; mid-latitude cyclones; oceanic jets; chaotic transport

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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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Balasuriya, S. Meridional and Zonal Wavenumber Dependence in Tracer Flux in Rossby Waves. Fluids 2016, 1, 30.

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