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DOI: 10.1175/jpo-d-18-0022.1
¤ OpenAccess: Bronze
This work has “Bronze” OA status. This means it is free to read on the publisher landing page, but without any identifiable license.

The Growth and Saturation of Submesoscale Instabilities in the Presence of a Barotropic Jet

Megan Stamper,John R. Taylor,Baylor Fox‐Kemper

Barotropic fluid
Jet (fluid)
Eddy
2018
Abstract Motivated by recent observations of submesoscales in the Southern Ocean, we use nonlinear numerical simulations and a linear stability analysis to examine the influence of a barotropic jet on submesoscale instabilities at an isolated front. Simulations of the nonhydrostatic Boussinesq equations with a strong barotropic jet (approximately matching the observed conditions) show that submesoscale disturbances and strong vertical velocities are confined to a small region near the initial frontal location. In contrast, without a barotropic jet, submesoscale eddies propagate to the edges of the computational domain and smear the mean frontal structure. Several intermediate jet strengths are also considered. A linear stability analysis reveals that the barotropic jet has a modest influence on the growth rate of linear disturbances to the initial conditions, with at most a ~20% reduction in the growth rate of the most unstable mode. On the other hand, a basic state formed by averaging the flow at the end of the simulation with a strong barotropic jet is linearly stable, suggesting that nonlinear processes modify the mean flow and stabilize the front.
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    The Growth and Saturation of Submesoscale Instabilities in the Presence of a Barotropic Jet” is a paper by Megan Stamper John R. Taylor Baylor Fox‐Kemper published in 2018. It has an Open Access status of “bronze”. You can read and download a PDF Full Text of this paper here.