Mathematical Geoscience Seminar

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Prof. Richard Scott

In this talk, we will consider how two very different atmospheric phenomena, the terrestrial tropical cyclone and the martian polar vortex, can be described within a single simplified dynamical framework based on the forced shallow water equations. Dynamical forcings include angular momentum transport by secondary (transverse) circulations and local heating due to latent heat release. The forcings act in very different ways in the two systems but in both cases lead to distinct annular distributions of potential vorticity, with a local vorticity maximum at a finite radius surrounding a central minimum.  In both systems, the resulting vorticity distributions are subject to shear instability and the degree of eddy growth versus annular persistence can be examined explicitly under different forcing scenarios.

  • Mathematical Geoscience Seminar
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