Volume 84, Number 2, October 2008
Article Number 24003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 08 October 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 24003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/24003

Anisotropic constraints on energy distribution in rotating and stratified turbulence

S. Kurien1, B. Wingate2 and M. A. Taylor3

1   Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory - Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
2   Computer and Computational Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory - Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
3   Exploratory Simulations Technologies, Sandia National Laboratories - Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

received 27 March 2008; accepted in final form 8 September 2008; published October 2008
published online 8 October 2008

It is shown that for Boussinesq flows in which rotation and stratification are equally strong, the forward cascade of potential enstrophy constrains the spectral distribution of horizontal kinetic energy and potential energy. Horizontal kinetic energy is suppressed in the small$\hbox{--} $aspect-ratio wave modes, and potential energy in suppressed in the large$\hbox{--} $aspect-ratio wave modes. Scaling estimates based on phenomenological arguments yield scaling of kh- 3 and kz- 3, respectively, of the two spectra. High-resolution numerical simulations of the Boussinesq equations in the relevant parameter regimes show spectral scaling exponent closer to - 4, and hence even stronger suppression than is predicted by dimensional estimates.

47.27.-i - Turbulent flows.
47.32.-y - Vortex dynamics; rotating fluids.
47.55.Hd - Stratified flows.

© EPLA 2008