DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 32. Jupiter II
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Wednesday, October 14, 1998, 3:40-5:10pm, Madison Ballroom D

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[32.04] A High-Resolution, 3-D Model of the Great Red Spot

J. Y-K. Cho (Caltech), M. de la Torre Ju\'arez (JPL/NRC), A. P. Ingersoll (Caltech)

The motion in and around Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS) is tremendously complex, involving a huge range of spatial scales. The turbulent flow at the periphery contains a large amount of fine-scale filamentary structures while the core appears to contain larger-scale, counter-rotating motion. In the past, many numerical simulation studies have been carried out addressing the possible origin and general stability of the GRS. However, due to the severe limitation in numerical resolution, no past studies have been able to either capture the detailed flow or adequately constrain the vertical stratification parameter, the Rossby deformation radius (LR). In this work, we present results from a series of high-resolution simulations using an essentially inviscid algorithm based on the advection of deformable patches of a dynamically active tracer, potential vorticity (PV). The algorithm solves the 3-D quasi-geostrophic PV equation, which governs the motion of large-scale, slowly-varying, shallow structures in planetary atmospheres. In order to carefully delineate the effects of stratification on the nonlinear evolution of the GRS, we vary the vertical profile of LR to correspond to several representative profiles in the Jovian atmosphere. Our simulations show that, at high resolutions, this simple model is able to capture very well the flow features seen in Voyager and Galileo images as well as better constrain LR for the GRS.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jcho@gps.caltech.edu

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