Vortex merger in surface quasi-geostrophy
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The merger of two identical surface temperature vortices is studied in the surface quasi- geostrophic model. The motivation for this study is the observation of the merger of sub- mesoscale vortices in the ocean. Firstly, the interaction between two point vortices, in the absence or in the presence of an external deformation field, is investigated. The rotation rate of the vortices, their stationary positions and the stability of these positions are determined. Then, a numerical model provides the steady states of two finite-area, constant-temperature, vortices. Such states are less deformed than their counterparts in two-dimensional incom- pressible flows. Finally, numerical simulations of the nonlinear surface quasi-geostrophic equations are used to investigate the finite-time evolution of initially identical and sym- metric, constant temperature vortices. The critical merger distance is obtained and the deformation of the vortices before or after merger is determined. The addition of external deformation is shown to favor or to oppose merger depending on the orientation of the vor- tex pair with respect to the strain axes. An explanation for this observation is proposed. Conclusions are drawn towards an application of this study to oceanic vortices.
Carton , X , Ciani , D , Verron , J , Reinaud , J N & Sokolovskiy , M 2016 , ' Vortex merger in surface quasi-geostrophy ' Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics , vol. 110 , no. 1 . DOI: 10.1080/03091929.2015.1120865
Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
© 2016, Taylor & Francis. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03091929.2015.1120865
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