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Understanding the Small Scales in Rotating Stratified Flow

Susan Kurien
L.M. Smith
B.A. Wingate

Two significant new results from studies of the multiscale dynamics of rotating and stratified flows are presented: 1) new parameterization of turbulence in the limit of strong rotation and stratification; 2) a systematic way to improve upon the Quasi-Geostrophic (QG) approximation. The QG approximation is commonly used to describe mesoscales in the atmosphere and oceans but cannot capture coupling between wave motions and coherent structures (jets, fronts, vortices and layers) on long time scales. This work highlights the importance of proper parameterization of fast dynamics for accurate simulation of long-time weather prediction, ocean circulation and climate change.