HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Ph.D. Oceanography/Marine Biology


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

William S. Richardson

Second Advisor

Pearn P. Niiler

Third Advisor

Dennis W. Moore

Fourth Advisor

Michael Spillane


This thesis examines the generalization of the classical quasigeostrophic baroclinic linear-stability model to include the effects of cross-stream sloping topography. Both approximate analytical and precise numerical approaches are examined and compared. The modifications due to topography of the Eady-type instabilities are obtained. Most interesting is the emergence of a new type of instability consisting of hybridized primary Eady modes which would otherwise be individually stable. The second-order dynamics of these two types of instability are examined. The eddy Reynolds stress and the eddy heat flux are of the same magnitude for the hybrid instabilities, whereas for the modified Eady instabilities the Reynolds stress/heat flux ratio is O(ε), where ε is a bottom-curvature parameter. This result may have important consequences in the energetics of the instabilities, particularly if horizontal shear were present.

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