The laboratory modelling of a rotating turbulent flow subjected to a beta-effect by means of laboratory experiments is considered. In particular the focus has been put on the emergence and the evolution of zonal jet-like structures due to the anisotropization of the upscale energy transfer that can be observed in geophysical flows. The experimental setup consists of a rotating tank in which a turbulent flow is reproduced by electromagnetically forcing a shallow layer of saline solution; this model then reproduces the dynamics in the polar regions simulating the so-called gamma-plane by the parabolic surface of the rotating fluid. Several experiments have been performed by changing the main external parameters in order to investigate if the setup is suitable for reproducing the basic dynamics associated with a banded configuration analogous to large scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Velocity measurements performed by image analysis have allowed characterization of the flow in terms of mean azimuthal velocity, degree of anisotropy, distribution of energy, and characteristic scales. As expected, zonal jets have been found to dominate the dynamics when the beta-effect is stronger. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Simulating zonation in geophysical flows by laboratory experiments / DI NITTO, Gabriella; Espa, Stefania; Cenedese, Antonio. - In: PHYSICS OF FLUIDS. - ISSN 1070-6631. - STAMPA. - 25:8(2013), pp. 086602-086602-19. [10.1063/1.4817540]

Simulating zonation in geophysical flows by laboratory experiments

DI NITTO, Gabriella;ESPA, Stefania;CENEDESE, Antonio
2013

Abstract

The laboratory modelling of a rotating turbulent flow subjected to a beta-effect by means of laboratory experiments is considered. In particular the focus has been put on the emergence and the evolution of zonal jet-like structures due to the anisotropization of the upscale energy transfer that can be observed in geophysical flows. The experimental setup consists of a rotating tank in which a turbulent flow is reproduced by electromagnetically forcing a shallow layer of saline solution; this model then reproduces the dynamics in the polar regions simulating the so-called gamma-plane by the parabolic surface of the rotating fluid. Several experiments have been performed by changing the main external parameters in order to investigate if the setup is suitable for reproducing the basic dynamics associated with a banded configuration analogous to large scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Velocity measurements performed by image analysis have allowed characterization of the flow in terms of mean azimuthal velocity, degree of anisotropy, distribution of energy, and characteristic scales. As expected, zonal jets have been found to dominate the dynamics when the beta-effect is stronger. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/541553
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