DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 7. Outer Planet Atmospheres I: Dynamics and Clouds
Oral, Chairs: A. Showman, P. Yanamandra-Fisher, Tuesday, November 27, 2001, 3:50-5:00pm, Regency E

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[7.04] Models of the merger between the two long-lived giant anticyclones BE and FA in the Jovian atmosphere using the EPIC code.

R. Morales-Juberías, A. Sanchez-Lavega (Univ. País Vasco), R. Hueso (Cote d'Azur Obs.), T. E. Dowling (Louisville Univ.)

We use the EPIC code (Dowling et al. Icarus, 132, 221. 1998) to simulate the merger that took place in March - April 2000 between the white ovals BE and FA (A. Sanchez-Lavega et al., Icarus, 142, 116. 1999, and Icarus, 149, 491. 2001). This merger was the final stage of a more complex interaction that started the 1st of October 1999 involving also the GRS and a small cyclone cell located between the two white ovals. One of the most important issues we try to reproduce here is the observation that the merger at the NH3 cloud level (pressures ~ 0.4 - 1 bars) and in upper levels (hazes at 0.15 - 0.20 bar) was different. While at high altitude the vortices orbited around each other before merging, at the ammonia cloud level they formed a `peanut-shaped' structure without any appreciable rotation before they joined. The other important issue that we try to adjust in our simulations is the critical distance to merge (~ 9700 km) as well as the `merging time' (~ 21 days) once this critical distance is reached.

We present a series of simulations on the stability, motions and interactions of the vortices for different sets of the vertical temperature profile, the zonal wind velocity structure (meridional and vertical profiles), and the intensity and vertical extension of the vortices themselves. The vertical analysis covers a pressure range from 1 mbar to 10 bar, allowing to perform a characterization of the upper Jovian troposphere.

This work has been supported by an Spanish - US Fulbright cooperation project (2000-2001). The Spanish team was also supported by MCYT research project PNAYA2000-0932. R. Morales acknowledges a fellowship from Universidad del País Vasco and R. Hueso a postdoctoral fellowship from Gobierno Vasco.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wudmojur@bi.ehu.es

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