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Kelvin wave hydraulic control induced by interactions between vortices and topography

  • Andrew McC. Hogg (a1), William K. Dewar (a2), Pavel Berloff (a3) and Marshall L. Ward (a1)


The interaction of a dipolar vortex with topography is examined using a combination of analytical solutions and idealized numerical models. It is shown that an anticyclonic vortex may generate along-topography flow with sufficient speeds to excite hydraulic control with respect to local Kelvin waves. A critical condition for Kelvin wave hydraulic control is found for the simplest case of a 1.5-layer shallow water model. It is proposed that in the continuously stratified case this mechanism may allow an interaction between low mode vortices and higher mode Kelvin waves, thereby generating rapidly converging isopycnals and hydraulic jumps. Thus, Kelvin wave hydraulic control may contribute to the flux of energy from mesoscale to smaller, unbalanced, scales of motion in the ocean.


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