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Wave–Mean-Flow Interactions in a Forced Rossby Wave Packet Critical Layer

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This paper describes the nonlinear critical layer evolution of a zonally localized Rossby wave packet forced in mid-latitudes and propagating horizontally on a beta plane in a zonal shear flow. The wave packet has an amplitude that varies slowly in the zonal direction. Numerical solutions of the governing nonlinear equations show that the wave–mean-flow interactions differ from those that would result with a monochromatic forcing. With the localized forcing, the net absorption of the disturbance at the critical layer continues for large time, because there is an outward flux of momentum in the zonal direction. Further insight into the mechanism for this and other aspects of the evolution of the critical layer is obtained through an approximate asymptotic analysis which is valid for large time.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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