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The interaction between a propagating coastal vortex and topographic waves

Parry, Simon Wyn; (2004) The interaction between a propagating coastal vortex and topographic waves. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the motion of a point vortex near coastal topography in a rotating frame of reference at constant latitude (f-plane) in the linear and weakly nonlinear limits. Topography is considered in the form of an infinitely long escarpment running parallel to a wall. The vortex motion and topographic waves are governed by the conservation of quasi-geostrophic potential vorticity in shallow water, from which a nonlinear system of equations is derived. First the linear limit is studied for three cases; a weak vortex on- and off-shelf and a weak vortex close to the wall. For the first two cases it is shown that to leading order the vortex motion is stationary and a solution for the topographic waves at the escarpment can be found in terms of Fourier integrals. For a weak vortex close to a wall, the leading order solution is a steadily propagating vortex with a topographic wavetrain at the step. Numerical results for the higher order interactions are also presented and explained in terms of conservation of momentum in the along-shore direction. For the second case a resonant interaction between the vortex and the waves occurs when the vortex speed is equal to the maximum group velocity of the waves and the linear response becomes unbounded at large times. Thus it becomes necessary to examine the weakly nonlinear near-resonant case. Using a long wave approximation a nonlinear evolution equation for the interface separating the two regions of differing relative potential vorticity is derived and has similar form to the BDA (Benjamin, Davies, Acrivos 1967) equation. Results for the leading order steadily propagating vortex and for the vortex-wave feedback problem are calculated numerically using spectral multi-step Adams methods.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The interaction between a propagating coastal vortex and topographic waves
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Earth sciences; Coastal vortex
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101412
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