Several ocean Western Boundary Currents (WBCs) encounter a lateral gap along their path. Examples are the Kuroshio Current penetrating into the South China Sea through the Luzon Strait and the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current leaping from the Yucatan peninsula to Florida as part of the Gulf Stream system. Here, we present results on WBC relevant flows, generated in the world’s largest rotating platform, where the Earth’s sphericity necessary to support WBCs is realized by an equivalent topographic effect. The fluid is put in motion by a pump system, which produces a current that is stationary far from the gap. When the jet reaches the gap entrance, time-dependent patterns with complex spatial structures appear, with the jet leaking, leaping or looping through the gap. The occurrence of these intrinsic self-sustained periodic or aperiodic oscillations depending on current intensity is well known in nonlinear dynamical systems theory and occurs in many real systems. It has been observed here for the first time in real rotating fluid flows and is thought to be highly relevant to explain low-frequency variability in ocean WBCs.

Laboratory experiments reveal intrinsic self-sustained oscillations in ocean relevant rotating fluid flows

Pierini S.
;
de Ruggiero P.;
2022

Abstract

Several ocean Western Boundary Currents (WBCs) encounter a lateral gap along their path. Examples are the Kuroshio Current penetrating into the South China Sea through the Luzon Strait and the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current leaping from the Yucatan peninsula to Florida as part of the Gulf Stream system. Here, we present results on WBC relevant flows, generated in the world’s largest rotating platform, where the Earth’s sphericity necessary to support WBCs is realized by an equivalent topographic effect. The fluid is put in motion by a pump system, which produces a current that is stationary far from the gap. When the jet reaches the gap entrance, time-dependent patterns with complex spatial structures appear, with the jet leaking, leaping or looping through the gap. The occurrence of these intrinsic self-sustained periodic or aperiodic oscillations depending on current intensity is well known in nonlinear dynamical systems theory and occurs in many real systems. It has been observed here for the first time in real rotating fluid flows and is thought to be highly relevant to explain low-frequency variability in ocean WBCs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/102136
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