Inertial Wave Turbulence Driven by Elliptical Instability

Inertial Wave Turbulence Driven by Elliptical Instability The combination of elliptical deformation of streamlines and vorticity can lead to the destabilization of any rotating flow via the elliptical instability. Such a mechanism has been invoked as a possible source of turbulence in planetary cores subject to tidal deformations. The saturation of the elliptical instability has been shown to generate turbulence composed of nonlinearly interacting waves and strong columnar vortices with varying respective amplitudes, depending on the control parameters and geometry. In this Letter, we present a suite of numerical simulations to investigate the saturation and the transition from vortex-dominated to wave-dominated regimes. This is achieved by simulating the growth and saturation of the elliptical instability in an idealized triply periodic domain, adding a frictional damping to the geostrophic component only, to mimic its interaction with boundaries. We reproduce several experimental observations within one idealized local model and complement them by reaching more extreme flow parameters. In particular, a wave-dominated regime that exhibits many signatures of inertial wave turbulence is characterized for the first time. This regime is expected in planetary interiors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review Letters American Physical Society (APS)

Inertial Wave Turbulence Driven by Elliptical Instability

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Inertial Wave Turbulence Driven by Elliptical Instability

Abstract

The combination of elliptical deformation of streamlines and vorticity can lead to the destabilization of any rotating flow via the elliptical instability. Such a mechanism has been invoked as a possible source of turbulence in planetary cores subject to tidal deformations. The saturation of the elliptical instability has been shown to generate turbulence composed of nonlinearly interacting waves and strong columnar vortices with varying respective amplitudes, depending on the control parameters and geometry. In this Letter, we present a suite of numerical simulations to investigate the saturation and the transition from vortex-dominated to wave-dominated regimes. This is achieved by simulating the growth and saturation of the elliptical instability in an idealized triply periodic domain, adding a frictional damping to the geostrophic component only, to mimic its interaction with boundaries. We reproduce several experimental observations within one idealized local model and complement them by reaching more extreme flow parameters. In particular, a wave-dominated regime that exhibits many signatures of inertial wave turbulence is characterized for the first time. This regime is expected in planetary interiors.
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Publisher
The American Physical Society
Copyright
Copyright © © 2017 American Physical Society
ISSN
0031-9007
eISSN
1079-7114
D.O.I.
10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.034502
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The combination of elliptical deformation of streamlines and vorticity can lead to the destabilization of any rotating flow via the elliptical instability. Such a mechanism has been invoked as a possible source of turbulence in planetary cores subject to tidal deformations. The saturation of the elliptical instability has been shown to generate turbulence composed of nonlinearly interacting waves and strong columnar vortices with varying respective amplitudes, depending on the control parameters and geometry. In this Letter, we present a suite of numerical simulations to investigate the saturation and the transition from vortex-dominated to wave-dominated regimes. This is achieved by simulating the growth and saturation of the elliptical instability in an idealized triply periodic domain, adding a frictional damping to the geostrophic component only, to mimic its interaction with boundaries. We reproduce several experimental observations within one idealized local model and complement them by reaching more extreme flow parameters. In particular, a wave-dominated regime that exhibits many signatures of inertial wave turbulence is characterized for the first time. This regime is expected in planetary interiors.

Journal

Physical Review LettersAmerican Physical Society (APS)

Published: Jul 21, 2017

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