Skip to main content

FLOW article published in PRL

Published Oct 26, 2017

Andreas Vallgren, Enrico Deusebio and Erik Lindborg hypothesize that the observed wave number spectra of kinetic and potential energy in the atmosphere can be explained by assuming that there are two related cascade processes emanating from the same large-scale energy source, a downscale cascade of potential enstrophy, giving rise to the k-3 spectrum at synoptic scales and a downscale energy cascade giving rise to the k-5/3 spectrum at mesoscales.

The amount of energy which is going into the downscale energy cascade is determined by the rate of system rotation, with negligible energy going downscale in the limit of very fast rotation. The autors present a set of simulations of a system with strong rotation and stratification, supporting these hypotheses and showing good agreement with observations.

URL: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.268501 PACS:, 05.45.-a