Accueil > Actualités > Séminaires > Séminaire de Ayah LAZAR


Titre : Inertial instability of oceanic submesoscale vortices: linear analysis, marginal stability criterion and laboratory experiments
Nom du conférencier : Ayah LAZAR
Son affiliation : Doctorante LMD et Department of Geophysics and Planetary sciences, Tel Aviv University
Laboratoire organisateur : LMD
Date et heure : 06-12-2012 14h30
Lieu : ENS - 24 rue Lhomond - Paris 5e - Salle E314 du departement de geoscience
Résumé :

Inertial instability is a possible mechanism for vertical mixing in the submeso-scale ocean, which could transport nutrient rich waters from the deep and effect primary production. The stability of axisymmetric oceanic-like vortices to inertial perturbations is investigated by means of linear stability analysis, taking into account the thickness and the stratification of the thermocline, as well as the vertical eddy viscosity.

Numerical analysis reveals that the instability is not sensitive to the vorticity profile if the intensity of the vortex is characterized by the vortex Rossby number (instead of the local normalized vorticity). This allows extending our analytical solutions for the Rankine vortex to a wide variety of oceanic cases, including results such as the analytic dispersion relation, and the marginal stability criterion. This criterion suits oceanic conditions better than the widely used generalized Rayleigh criterion, which is only valid for non-dissipative and non-stratified eddies. Comparison with literature oceanographic data shows that our criterion allows for cases that seem to contradict the common oceanographic hypothesis for inertial instability. For instance, intense submesoscale anticyclones may be stable even with a core region of negative absolute vorticity. We corroborate our findings with large-scale laboratory experiments, performed at the LEGI-Coriolis platform, where we also find a "signature" of the instability on the mean-flow, which could be used in future oceanographic measurements.