Studies in Climate Dynamics for Environmental Security

A Note on the Lateral Eddy Viscosity Due to Transient Rossby Waves in a Barotropic Model

by W. Lawrence Gates


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback22 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Simulation of a wind-driven homogeneous ocean and its characteristic circulation. From time-dependent numerical solutions of the model, a negative lateral eddy viscosity is estimated in the basin interior, where flow is dominated by transient Rossby waves. These waves produce a systematic meridional convergence of eddy momentum into the latitudes of mean eastward current and are analogous to the Rossby waves in the general circulation of the atmosphere. This regime exists in spite of the formally prescribed lateral viscosity in the model's equations; the required viscous dissipation apparently occurs in the standing waves of the western boundary current system. Results suggest that a strong gradient of the effective eddy viscosity may be characteristic of an ocean with meridional boundaries. This investigation was begun as part of an effort to evaluate the effects of environmental perturbations that could be detrimental to the security and welfare of our nation. (See also RM-6110, RM-6211.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.