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Free Content The parameterization of baroclinic instability in a simple model

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Abstract:

Baroclinic instability of zonally forced flow in a two mode quasi-geostrophic numerical model with periodic boundary conditions is considered. Only the largest scale of the baroclinic mode is forced and the scale dependence of a diffusive parameterization of baroclinic layer thickness is determined. It is shown that the effect of baroclinic instability is a decreasing function of scale with an exponent of about half of that corresponding to the commonly used Laplace operator. We furthermore show that there is no linear relation between the time averaged amplitude of the large scale streamfunction (or quasi-geostrophic potential vorticity) and the bolus velocity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1357/002224000321511025

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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