Rapidly rotating plane layer convection with zonal flow

Teed, R. J. , Jones, C. A. and Hollerbach, R. (2010) Rapidly rotating plane layer convection with zonal flow. Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, 104(5-6), pp. 457-480. (doi: 10.1080/03091929.2010.512290)

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The onset of convection in a rapidly rotating layer in which a thermal wind is present is studied. Diffusive effects are included. The main motivation is from convection in planetary interiors, where thermal winds are expected due to temperature variations on the core–mantle boundary. The system admits both convective instability and baroclinic instability. We find a smooth transition between the two types of modes, and investigate where the transition region between the two types of instability occurs in parameter space. The thermal wind helps to destabilise the convective modes. Baroclinic instability can occur when the applied vertical temperature gradient is stable, and the critical Rayleigh number is then negative. Long wavelength modes are the first to become unstable. Asymptotic analysis is possible for the transition region and also for long wavelength instabilities, and the results agree well with our numerical solutions. We also investigate how the instabilities in this system relate to the classical baroclinic instability in the Eady problem. We conclude by noting that baroclinic instabilities in the Earth's core arising from heterogeneity in the lower mantle could possibly drive a dynamo even if the Earth's core were stably stratified and so not convecting.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Teed, Dr Robert
Authors: Teed, R. J., Jones, C. A., and Hollerbach, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1029-0419
Published Online:29 October 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 104(5-6):457-480
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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