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Article

Velocity profiles of cyclones and anticyclones in a rotating turbulent flow

Physics of Fluids. 2021. Vol. 33. No. 6. P. 1-11.
Parfenyev V., Vointsev I., Skoba A., Vergeles S. S.

Strong rotation makes an underlying turbulent flow quasi-two-dimensional that leads to the upscale energy transfer. Recent numerical simulations show that under certain conditions, the energy is accumulated at the largest scales of the system, forming coherent vortex structures known as condensates. We analytically describe the interaction of a strong condensate with weak small-scale turbulent pulsations and obtain an equation that allows us to determine the radial velocity profile $U(r)$ of a coherent vortex. When external rotation is fast, the velocity profiles of cyclones and anticyclones are identical to each other and are well described by the dependence $U(r) \propto \pm r \ln (R/r)$, where $R$ is the transverse size of the vortex. As the external rotation decreases, this symmetry disappears: the maximum velocity in cyclones is greater and the position of the maximum is closer to the axis of the vortex in comparison with anticyclones. Besides, our analysis shows that the size $R$ of the anticyclone cannot exceed a certain critical value, which depends on the Rossby and Reynolds numbers. The maximum size of the cyclones is limited only by the system size under the same conditions. Our predictions are based on the linear evolution of turbulent pulsations on the background of the coherent vortex flow and are accompanied by estimates following from the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equation.