Secondary toroidal vortices above seamounts
Abstract:The classical Taylor-Couette flow appears in a homogeneous fluid between two coaxial cylinders rotating with different angular velocities. The stability loss by a Taylor-Couette flow leads to a bifurcation and generation of Taylor toroidal vortices. In this study we consider an analog to this effect in the case of seamounts in a homogeneous ocean on a f-plane. A seamount is approximated by two coaxial cylinders with heights h 1, h 2 standing one upon the other, the lower cylinder having a larger diameter. Taylor-Couette flow forms in a circular area above the ledge as follows from the differential squeezing of background vorticity above topography. The essential difference from the classical Taylor-Couette flow is the additional background rotation. We demonstrate that in this model ocean a current bifurcation in a circular area above a seamount ledge leads to the generation of toroidal vortices, also known as Taylor vortices in Taylor-Couette flows.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2011
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