The Lorenz energy cycle in simulated rotating annulus flows

R. M.B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Lorenz energy cycles are presented for a series of simulated differentially heated rotating annulus flows, in the axisymmetric, steady, amplitude vacillating, and structurally vacillating flow regimes. The simulation allows contributions to the energy diagnostics to be identified in parts of the fluid that cannot be measured in experiments. These energy diagnostics are compared with laboratory experiments studying amplitude vacillation, and agree well with experimental time series of kinetic and potential energy, as well as conversions between them. Two of the three major energy transfer paradigms of the Lorenz energy cycle are identified-a Hadley-cell overturning circulation, and baroclinic instability. The third, barotropic instability, was never dominant, but increased in strength as rotation rate increased. For structurally vacillating flow, which matches the Earth's thermal Rossby number well, the ratio between energy conversions associated with baroclinic and barotropic instabilities was similar to the measured ratio in the Earth's mid-latitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056602
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Lorenz energy cycle in simulated rotating annulus flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this