Physical Review Letters -- September 16, 1996 -- Volume 77, Issue 12, pp. 2467-2470

Crossover from Two- to Three-Dimensional Turbulence

Leslie M. Smith
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
Jeffrey R. Chasnov
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Fabian Waleffe
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(Received 22 March 1996)

Forced rotating turbulence is simulated within a periodic box of small aspect ratio. Critical parameter values are found for the stability of a 2D inverse cascade of energy in the presence of 3D motions at small scales. There is a critical rotation rate below which 2D forcing leads to an equilibrated 3D state, while for a slightly larger rotation rate, 3D forcing drives a 2D inverse cascade. It is shown that inverse and forward cascades of energy can coexist. This study is relevant to geophysical flows, and contains physics omitted by quasigeostrophic models. ©1996 The American Physical Society.

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