On the Mix-Down Times of Dynamically Active Potential Vorticity Filaments

Esler, J. Gavin; Polvani, Lorenzo M.; Plumb, R. Alan

A simple model is used to study the evolution of potential vorticity filaments, viewed in cross-section, subject to steady shear and deformation flows representative of the large-scale atmospheric circulation. It is found that
the balanced,ageostrophic circulation induced by the anomalous potential vorticity can cause the evolution of a dynamically active filament to differ substantially from that of a dynamically passive filament in a similar background flow. It is suggested that estimates of the mix-down time of material contained in atmospheric filaments need to be corrected to allow for this effect.


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Geophysical Research Letters

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