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

Dennis W. MOore

Second Advisor

Pearn Niilev

Third Advisor

Edward R. Simco


Numerical initial value experiments are used to study time-dependent modifications resulting from small amplitude barotropic and baroclinic perturbations to a steady barotropic inertial gyre in a mid-latitude, circular basin of constant depth. The steady circulation is an exact solution to the quasi-geostrophic potential vorticity equation; it is characterized by a slow westward drift in the interior, and a high-velocity jet which returns the flow along the northern edge of the basin. As control experiments, the evolution of the same perturbations about a state of rest is observed. The redistribution of energy and vorticity is described in detail for the two cases, and particular emphasis is given to the role played by the boundary jet in the transfer of perturbation vorticity from large to small scales. Certain difficulties associated with normal-mode solutions to the control experiments are also discussed.

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