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IUTAM - Rotating Stratified Turbulence and Turbulence in the Atmosphere and Oceans


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8th December 2008 to 12th December 2008

Organisers: Peter Bartello (McGill), Peter Davidson (Cambridge), David Dritschel (St Andrews), Ross Griffiths (Canberra), Keith Moffatt (Cambridge), Joel Sommeria (Grenoble), Kraig Winters (San Diego), Shigeo Yoden (Kyoto).

Workshop Theme

The goal of this IUTAM/INI Symposium is to bring recent theoretical, experimental and numerical progress in this field to the community of atmospheric and oceanic scientists who could use it to improve their integrated studies of complex systems. The workshop will consist of 3 days devoted to studies of canonical flows and turbulence in its most theoretically accessible form. This will be followed by 2 days of presentations from the community studying realistic atmospheric and oceanic flows in which turbulence and mixing play an important role, but one involving the full range of complications and numerical constraints. The two groups of people will thereby be encouraged to share perspectives.

Specific challenges to be addressed in the first three days include:

  • The emergence of organised structures (vortices and fronts) and how they interact with the smaller dissipative scales.
  • The relative roles played by linear wave propagation and nonlinear vortex stretching in the formation of columnar and pancake vortices.
  • What can we learn by distinguishing between waves and vortices in geophysical turbulence? When is `balance' useful in describing such flows? How does balance depend on scale?
  • The influence of large-scale anisotropy on the energy cascade and small-scale dynamics.
  • The influence of rotation and stratification on mixing.
  • Do one-point and two-point turbulence models retain the relevant physics to cope with rotation and stratification?

In the two days the atmosphere-ocean community will be invited to discuss their most recent challenges. Topics will include:

  • Resolved convection versus convective adjustment in numerical models.
  • What equations need to be solved? What approximations are valid? How to cope with unresolved turbulence?
  • What are the effects of the commonly used numerical short-cuts?
  • Boundary-layer turbulence.
  • The influence of water in three phases and the consequent latent heating on the turbulence.
  • Predictability.
  • The dynamical role of the tropopause.
  • Tracer mixing barriers.

Speakers will include:

  • F Busse (University of Bayreuth)
  • G Carnevale (UCSD)
  • J-M Chomaz (CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique)
  • J Herring (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • D Holm (Imperial College London)
  • J McWilliams (UCLA)
  • P Rhines (University of Washington)
  • J Riley (University of Washington)



University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons