Geostrophic Turbulence over a Slope Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors examine freely evolving geostrophic turbulence, in two layers over a linearly sloping bottom. The initial flow is surface trapped and subdeformation scale. In all cases with a slope, two components are found: a collection of surface vortices, and a bottom-intensified flow that has zero surface potential vorticity. The rate of spinup and the scale of the bottom flow depend on Lambda = F2U1/beta(2), which measures the importance of interfacial stretching to the bottom slope, with small values of ii corresponding to a slow spinup and stronger along-isobath anisotropy. The slope also affects the mean size of the surface vortices, through the dispersal of flow at depth and by altering vortex stability. This too can be characterized in terms of the parameter, Lambda.

publication date

  • June 2000