MetStröm 2010

April 21-22, 2010, BTU-Cottbus

The differentially heated rotating annulus-recent developments in laboratory and numerical experiment


Uwe Harlander

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Further Information:

Deutsche Forschungs Gesellschaft DFG

Schwerpunktprogramm 1276 MetStröm
The Reference experiment "large-scale dynamics"

The differentially heated rotating annulus is a classical experiment of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics that is frequently considered as a laboratory analogue of atmospheric motion. In spite of its simplicity, the experiment has intrigued researchers for more than half a century through its rich dynamical features. With new and better instruments, multivariate statistical techniques, and numerical methods it is feasable to solve still open problems concerning the flow in the annulus and thus gain a better understanding of atmospheric flows as well.

Closed, convectively driven rotating flows have a complicated structure of staggered horizontal and vertical boundary layers that scale with the Ekman and the thermal Rossby number. These numbers change with the experimental parameters and it is demanding for numerical codes to capture the boundary layers and their temporal changes. Moreover, the flow in the annulus becomes irregular for small radial temperature differences and fast annulus rotations. Then small and large-scale structures coexist and numerical codes have to capture these multiple-scale features.

For these reasons the differentially heated rotating annulus has been chosen as one of the reference experiments of the MetStröm priority program. The experiment is a useful testing ground for numerical codes designed to solve multiple-scale problems. The workshop is intended to discuss findings from laboratory experiments and numerical simulations.

If you are interested in participating please send an email to uwe.harlander. We look forward to receiving your notice.