North Atlantic

This is a realistic simulation of the subtropical North Atlantic, forced by surface winds and heat fluxes, solar and lunar tidal potentials, and boundary conditions of hydrography and currents at the open boundaries. We are using this simulation to study the impacts of submesoscale turbulence on the large-scale structure of the thermocline and to understand the interaction between waves and geostrophic turbulence.

Baroclinic instability in the presence of convection

In this idealized simulation, vigorous convection is forced by heating the bottom of the domain and cooling the top. In addition, a lateral buoyancy gradient provides potential energy and the possibility for baroclinic instability. This instability develops and generates baroclinic eddies despite the persistent convection. See Callies and Ferrari (2018) for more details.

Submesoscale instabilities and turbulence

These two animations show the development of submesoscale turbulence due to two different processes: mesoscale-driven surface frontogenesis and baroclinic mixed-layer instabilities. Colors show surface buoyancy. See Callies et al. (2016) for more details.

Barotropic instability

This simulation shows the development of a barotropic instability of a parallel shear flow and the subsequent roll-up into a single vortex, as simulated using Dedalus. The color shows the vorticity of the flow, which is initially concentrated in a thin shear zone. The setup is as described in Geoff Vallis’s book, section 9.2.

Tidal potential

This is an illustration of the tidal potential imparted onto the Earth by the Moon or the Sun. Note the diurnal and semi-diurnal components to the tidal potential at any location on the surface of the Earth away from the Equator.