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dc.contributor.authorLemasquerier, Daphné
dc.contributor.authorFavier, B.
dc.contributor.authorLe Bars, M.
dc.identifier.citationLemasquerier , D , Favier , B & Le Bars , M 2023 , ' Zonal jets experiments in the gas giants’ zonostrophic regime ' , Icarus , vol. 390 , 115292 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 281699945
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 3d95f934-884c-4dc8-b9d5-d7cd0e1da288
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-9795-6214/work/121754263
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85141279443
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000882445200001
dc.descriptionFunding information: European Research Council (681835-FLUDYCO-ERC-2015-CoG).en
dc.description.abstractIntense east–west winds called zonal jets are observed in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn and extend in their deep interior. We present experimental results from a fully three-dimensional laboratory analog of deep gas giants zonal jets. We use a rapidly rotating deep cylindrical tank, filled with water, and forced by a small-scale hydraulic circulation at the bottom. A topographic β-effect is naturally present because of the curvature of the free surface. Instantaneous turbulent zonal jets spontaneously emerge from the small-scale forcing, equilibrate at large scale, and can contain up to 70% of the total kinetic energy of the flow once in a quasi-steady state. We show that the spectral properties of the experimental flows are consistent with the theoretical predictions in the zonostrophic turbulence regime, argued to be relevant to gas giants. This constitutes the first fully-experimental validation of the zonostrophic theory in a completely three-dimensional framework. Complementary, quasi-geostrophic (QG) simulations show that this result is not sensitive to the forcing scale. Next, we quantify the potential vorticity (PV) mixing. While PV staircasing should emerge in the asymptotic regime of the gas giants, only a moderate PV mixing occurs because of the strong forcing and dissipation, as confirmed by QG simulations at smaller Ekman number. We quantify the local PV mixing by measuring the equivalent of a Thorpe scale, and confirm that it can be used to estimate the upscale energy transfer rate of the flow, which otherwise needs to be estimated from a much more demanding spectral analysis.
dc.rightsCopyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
dc.subjectExperimental techniquesen
dc.subjectPlanetary dynamicsen
dc.subjectQB Astronomyen
dc.subjectQC Physicsen
dc.titleZonal jets experiments in the gas giants’ zonostrophic regimeen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Applied Mathematicsen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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