Slow Nonhydrostatic Flow and Balanced Energetics

William Dewar
Florida State University

Recent laboratory experiments have suggested gravity waves are emitted routinely by essentially balanced evolution. This result, while apparently robust, runs counter to some analytical arguments and numerical experimentation that suggest otherwise. A substantive deviation of the laboratory experiments from the settings considered elsewhere is in the aspect ratio of the tanks. In the laboratory, the aspect ratios are typically O(1), while geophysical problems routinely assume aspect ratios are very small. Here, the O(1) aspect ratio problem is revisited from a theoretical and numerical perspective and it is argued that the wave properties of the system are quite distinct from a system characterized by small aspect ratio. In particular, the fluid exhibits superinertial and subinertial linear wave modes characterized by vertical shear in layers of constant density. The flows are slow

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