Linear stability of steady zonal jet flows induced by a small-scale forcing on a β plane

Kiori Obuse, Shin Ichi Takehiro, Michio Yamada

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    We analytically obtain steady isolated zonal jet solutions of the evolution equation of zonal flows on a β plane with a homogeneous zonal flow and a small-scale sinusoidal transversal flow in the background, derived by Manfroi and Young (1999) [9]. It is shown that these steady zonal jet solutions are all linearly unstable. Numerical time integrations of the evolution equation also confirm that the perturbed unstable steady solution becomes a uniform flow in the long run. These results suggest that mergers/disappearances of zonal jets superposed upon background forced two-dimensional turbulence on a β plane or a rotating sphere might be due to the intrinsic instability of the zonal jets.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1825-1834
    Number of pages10
    JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1


    • Barotropic flow
    • Beta effect
    • CahnHilliard equation
    • Rotating fluid
    • Turbulence
    • Zonal jet

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
    • Mathematical Physics
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Applied Mathematics


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