Nonlinear equilibration of two-dimensional Eady waves

N. Nakamura, I. M. Held

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The initial-value problem for Eady's model is reexamined using a two-dimensional (x-z) primitive equation model. It is generally accepted that a finite amplitude instability of Eady's basic state will produce a frontal discontinuity in a finite time. When diffusion prevents the frontal discontinuity from forming, the wave amplitude eventually stops growing and begins to oscillate. We analyze this equilibration and suggest that it is a result of enhanced potential vorticity in the frontal region that is mixed into the interior from the boundaries. The dynamics of equilibration is crudely captured in a modified quasi-geostrophic model in which the zonal-mean static stability is allowed to vary. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3055-3064
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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