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Abstract
A method to decompose geophysical flows into a balanced flow (defined by its potential vorticity, PV) and an imbalanced component (inertiagravity waves, IGWs) is introduced. The balanced flow, called the optimal potential vorticity (OPV) balance, is a solution of an IGWpermitting dynamics in which the amount of IGWs is minimal. The residual IGWs are those spontaneously generated by the vortical flow during the numerical integration in which the PV anomaly grows slowly over a sufficiently long ramp period toward a prescribed PV field. The OPV balanced flow is obtained, iteratively, in a cycle of backward and forward integrations where IGWs are removed and PV is restored in every loop. The method is applied to the flow of unsteady vortices in the threedimensional baroclinic nonhydrostatic dynamics on the fplane and to the singlelayer shallowwater dynamics on the sphere. Both applications show that the iterative method converges strongly, after only a few iterations, to the balanced flow.
Original language  English 

Pages (fromto)  343352 
Number of pages  10 
Journal  Journal of Fluid Mechanics 
Volume  521 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  25 Dec 2004 
Keywords
 SHALLOWWATER EQUATIONS
 VERTICAL VELOCITY
 SLOW MANIFOLD
 GRAVITYWAVES
 FPLANE
 INITIALIZATION
 MODEL
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Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal PV balance of geophysical flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.Projects
 1 Finished

EPSRC GR/S69290/01: A new twist to rotating stratified turbulance
1/03/04 → 28/02/07
Project: Standard