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Baroclinic instability of quasi-geostrophic flows localized in a thin layer


Benilov, ES, Baroclinic instability of quasi-geostrophic flows localized in a thin layer, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 288 pp. 175-199. ISSN 0022-1120 (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S002211209500111X


This paper examines the baroclinic instability of a quasi-geostrophic flow with vertical shear in a continuously stratified fluid. The flow and density stratification are both localized in a thin upper layer. (i) Disturbances whose wavelength is much smaller than the deformation radius (based on the depth of the upper layer) are demonstrated to satisfy an ‘equivalent two-layer model’ with properly chosen parameters. (ii) For disturbances whose wavelength is of the order of, or greater than, the deformation radius we derive a sufficient stability criterion. The above analysis is applied to the subtropical and subarctic frontal currents in the Northern Pacific. The effective time of growth of disturbances (i) is found to be 16"22 days, the characteristic spatial scale is 130"150 km. © 1995, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Benilov, ES (Dr Eugene Benilov)
ID Code:3520
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Applied Computing and Mathematics
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22

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