Wave-averaged balance: a simple example

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Abstract

In the presence of inertia-gravity waves, the geostrophic and hydrostatic balance that characterises the slow dynamics of rapidly rotating, strongly stratified flows holds in a time-averaged sense and applies to the Lagrangian-mean velocity and buoyancy. We give an elementary derivation of this wave-averaged balance and illustrate its accuracy in numerical solutions of the three-dimensional Boussinesq equations, using a simple configuration in which vertically planar near-inertial waves interact with a barotropic anticylonic vortex. We further use the conservation of the wave-averaged potential vorticity to predict the change in the barotropic vortex induced by the waves.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Nov 2020

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