Zonal flow regimes in rotating anelastic spherical shells: an application to giant planets

Дата и время публикации : 2012-11-14T09:21:43Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
T. Gastine
J. Wicht
J. M. Aurnou

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 20 pages, 15 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in Icarus
Первичная категория: astro-ph.EP

Все категории : astro-ph.EP, astro-ph.SR, physics.flu-dyn, physics.geo-ph

Краткий обзор статьи: The surface zonal winds observed in the giant planets form a complex jet pattern with alternating prograde and retrograde direction. While the main equatorial band is prograde on the gas giants, both ice giants have a pronounced retrograde equatorial jet. We use three-dimensional numerical models of compressible convection in rotating spherical shells to explore the properties of zonal flows in different regimes where either rotation or buoyancy dominates the force balance. We conduct a systematic parameter study to quantify the dependence of zonal flows on the background density stratification and the driving of convection. We find that the direction of the equatorial zonal wind is controlled by the ratio of buoyancy and Coriolis force. The prograde equatorial band maintained by Reynolds stresses is found in the rotation-dominated regime. In cases where buoyancy dominates Coriolis force, the angular momentum per unit mass is homogenised and the equatorial band is retrograde, reminiscent to those observed in the ice giants. In this regime, the amplitude of the zonal jets depends on the background density contrast with strongly stratified models producing stronger jets than comparable weakly stratified cases. Furthermore, our results can help to explain the transition between solar-like and "anti-solar" differential rotations found in anelastic models of stellar convection zones. In the strongly stratified cases, we find that the leading order force balance can significantly vary with depth (rotation-dominated inside and buoyancy-dominated in a thin surface layer). This so-called "transitional regime" has a visible signature in the main equatorial jet which shows a pronounced dimple where flow amplitudes notably decay towards the equator. A similar dimple is observed on Jupiter, which suggests that convection in the planet interior could possibly operate in this regime.

Category: Physics