Zonal Jets in Wide Baroclinically Unstable Regions: Persistence and Scale Selection Academic Article uri icon


  • Extremely persistent, equivalent barotropic zonal jets are observed in statistically steady quasigeostrophic two-layer beta-plane turbulence. Flows are forced by an imposed unstable vertical shear, horizontally uniform over domains several tens of Rossby radii wide. Damping is by surface drag, small-scale mixing, and for some runs, radiative relaxation. When dissipation is weak, zonal jets emerge with a meridional scale related to beta and the equilibrated eddy energy level as suggested by Rhines. Spinup behavior suggests a priori prediction of this level will be difficult. -from Author

altmetric score

  • 5.16

author list (cited authors)

  • Panetta, R. L.

citation count

  • 194

publication date

  • July 1993