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Near-inertial-wave scattering by random flows

Near-inertial-wave scattering by random flows The impact of a turbulent flow on wind-driven oceanic near-inertial waves is examined using a linearized shallow-water model of the mixed layer. Modeling the flow as a homogeneous and stationary random process with spatial scales comparable to the wavelengths, we derive a transport (or kinetic) equation governing wave-energy transfers in both physical and spectral spaces. This equation describes the scattering of the waves by the flow which results in a redistribution of energy between waves with the same frequency (or, equivalently, with the same wave number) and, for isotropic flows, in the isotropization of the wave field. The time scales for the scattering and isotropization are obtained explicitly and found to be of the order of tens of days for typical oceanic parameters. The predictions inferred from the transport equation are confirmed by a series of numerical simulations. Two situations in which near-inertial waves are strongly influenced by flow scattering are investigated through dedicated nonlinear shallow-water simulations. In the first, a wave packet propagating equatorward as a result from the β effect is shown to be slowed down and dispersed both zonally and meridionally by scattering. In the second, waves generated by moving cyclones are shown to be strongly disturbed by scattering, leading again to an increased dispersion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physical Review Fluids American Physical Society (APS)

Near-inertial-wave scattering by random flows

Physical Review Fluids , Volume 1 (3): 25 – Jul 14, 2016

Near-inertial-wave scattering by random flows

Physical Review Fluids , Volume 1 (3): 25 – Jul 14, 2016

Abstract

The impact of a turbulent flow on wind-driven oceanic near-inertial waves is examined using a linearized shallow-water model of the mixed layer. Modeling the flow as a homogeneous and stationary random process with spatial scales comparable to the wavelengths, we derive a transport (or kinetic) equation governing wave-energy transfers in both physical and spectral spaces. This equation describes the scattering of the waves by the flow which results in a redistribution of energy between waves with the same frequency (or, equivalently, with the same wave number) and, for isotropic flows, in the isotropization of the wave field. The time scales for the scattering and isotropization are obtained explicitly and found to be of the order of tens of days for typical oceanic parameters. The predictions inferred from the transport equation are confirmed by a series of numerical simulations. Two situations in which near-inertial waves are strongly influenced by flow scattering are investigated through dedicated nonlinear shallow-water simulations. In the first, a wave packet propagating equatorward as a result from the β effect is shown to be slowed down and dispersed both zonally and meridionally by scattering. In the second, waves generated by moving cyclones are shown to be strongly disturbed by scattering, leading again to an increased dispersion.

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Publisher
American Physical Society (APS)
Copyright
©2016 American Physical Society
Subject
ARTICLES; Geophysical and geological flows
ISSN
2469-990X
eISSN
2469-990X
DOI
10.1103/PhysRevFluids.1.033701
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The impact of a turbulent flow on wind-driven oceanic near-inertial waves is examined using a linearized shallow-water model of the mixed layer. Modeling the flow as a homogeneous and stationary random process with spatial scales comparable to the wavelengths, we derive a transport (or kinetic) equation governing wave-energy transfers in both physical and spectral spaces. This equation describes the scattering of the waves by the flow which results in a redistribution of energy between waves with the same frequency (or, equivalently, with the same wave number) and, for isotropic flows, in the isotropization of the wave field. The time scales for the scattering and isotropization are obtained explicitly and found to be of the order of tens of days for typical oceanic parameters. The predictions inferred from the transport equation are confirmed by a series of numerical simulations. Two situations in which near-inertial waves are strongly influenced by flow scattering are investigated through dedicated nonlinear shallow-water simulations. In the first, a wave packet propagating equatorward as a result from the β effect is shown to be slowed down and dispersed both zonally and meridionally by scattering. In the second, waves generated by moving cyclones are shown to be strongly disturbed by scattering, leading again to an increased dispersion.

Journal

Physical Review FluidsAmerican Physical Society (APS)

Published: Jul 14, 2016

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