The evolution of cylindrical geostrophic vortices


Fernando Viera


Research Report 93-39
9 July 1993, revised October 1993


The evolution of continuously stratified geostrophic vortices is investigated using a recently developed algorithm. Assuming a three-dimensional vortex region of potential vorticity of arbitrary vertical structure but piecewise-constant distribution in the horizontal direction, the problem is reduced to the Lagrangean evolution of the two-dimensional boundary surface enclosing the vortex region. Simulations of the evolution of elliptical cylinder vortices in a spatially unbounded fluid of uniform stratification are presented. Preliminary findings indicate that for scales large compared to the internal radius of deformation the process of axisymmetrization of the elliptical structure is greatly enhanced with no evidence of filamentation.


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Sydney Mathematics and Statistics