Accession Number : ADA487973


Title :   Turbulent Convection in an Anelastic Rotating Sphere: A Model for the Circulation on the Giant Planets


Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis


Corporate Author : WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA


Personal Author(s) : Kaspi, Yohai


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a487973.pdf


Report Date : Jun 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 214


Abstract : This thesis studies the dynamics of a rotating compressible gas sphere, driven by internal convection, as a model for the dynamics on the giant planets. We develop a new general circulation model for the Jovian atmosphere, based on the MIT-gcm dynamical core augmenting the nonhydrostatic model. The grid extends deep into the planet's interior allowing the model to compute the dynamics of a whole sphere of gas rather than a spherical shell (including the strong variations in gravity and the equation of state). Different from most previous 3D convection models, this model is anelastic rather than Boussinesq and thereby incorporates the full density variation of the planet. We show that the density gradients caused by convection drive the system away from an isentropic and therefore barotropic state as previously assumed, leading to significant baroclinic shear. This shear is concentrated mainly in the upper levels and associated with baroclinic compressibility effects. The interior flow organizes in large cyclonically rotating columnar eddies parallel to the rotation axis, which drive upgradient angular momentum eddy fluxes, generating the observed equatorial superrotation. Heat fluxes align with the axis of rotation, contributing to the observed flat meridional emission. We show the transition from weak convection cases with symmetric spiraling columnar modes similar to those found in previous analytic linear theory, to more turbulent cases which exhibit similar, though less regular and solely cyclonic, convection columns which manifest on the surface in the form of waves embedded within the superrotation. We develop a mechanical understanding of this system and scaling laws by studying simpler configurations and the dependence on physical properties such as the rotation period, bottom boundary location and forcing structure.


Descriptors :   *COMPRESSION , *SPHERES , *ROTATION , *TURBULENCE , *CONVECTION , CIRCULATION , EQUATIONS OF STATE , HEAT FLUX , HYDROSTATICS , JUPITER(PLANET) , THESES , MODELS , THREE DIMENSIONAL


Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
      Fluid Mechanics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE