Nonlinear excitation of zonal flows by rossby wave turbulence

J T Mendonça, P K Shukla, R Bingham

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Abstract

We apply the wave-kinetic approach to study nonlinearly coupled Rossby wave-zonal flow fluid turbulence in a two-dimensional rotating fluid. Specifically, we consider for the first time nonlinear excitations of zonal flows by a broad spectrum of Rossby wave turbulence. Short-wavelength Rossby waves are described here as a fluid of quasi-particles, and are referred to as the 'Rossbyons'. It is shown that Reynolds stresses of Rossbyons can generate large-scale zonal flows. The result should be useful in understanding the origin of large-scale planetary and near-Earth atmospheric circulations. It also provides an example of a turbulent wave background driving a coherent structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number073038
Number of pages8
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2009

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Keywords

  • instability
  • plasma
  • wave-kinetic
  • Rossby wave-zonal flow fluid turbulence
  • nonlinear excitations
  • zonal flows
  • Reynolds stresses
  • turbulent wave background

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