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Jupiter's Overturning Circulation: Breaking Waves Take the Place of Solid Boundaries

Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Atreya, Sushil and Bolton, Scott J. and Brueshaber, Shawn and Fletcher, Leigh N. and Levin, Steven M. and Li, Cheng and Li, Liming and Lunine, Jonathan I. and Orton, Glenn S. and Waite, Hunter (2021) Jupiter's Overturning Circulation: Breaking Waves Take the Place of Solid Boundaries. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (23). Art. No. e2021GL095756. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2021gl095756.

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Cloud-tracked wind observations document the role of eddies in putting momentum into the zonal jets. Chemical tracers, lightning, clouds, and temperature anomalies document the rising and sinking in the belts and zones, but questions remain about what drives the flow between the belts and zones. We suggest an additional role for the eddies, which is to generate waves that propagate both up and down from the cloud layer. When the waves break they deposit momentum and thereby replace the friction forces at solid boundaries that enable overturning circulations on terrestrial planets. By depositing momentum of one sign within the cloud layer and momentum of the opposite sign above and below the clouds, the eddies maintain all components of the circulation, including the stacked, oppositely rotating cells between each belt-zone pair, and the zonal jets themselves.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemData
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Atreya, Sushil0000-0002-1972-1815
Bolton, Scott J.0000-0002-9115-0789
Brueshaber, Shawn0000-0002-3669-0539
Fletcher, Leigh N.0000-0001-5834-9588
Levin, Steven M.0000-0003-2242-5459
Li, Cheng0000-0002-8280-3119
Li, Liming0000-0002-5257-9849
Lunine, Jonathan I.0000-0003-2279-4131
Orton, Glenn S.0000-0001-7871-2823
Waite, Hunter0000-0002-1978-1025
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 28 November 2021; Version of Record online: 28 November 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 25 October 2021; Manuscript accepted: 12 October 2021; Manuscript revised: 06 October 2021; Manuscript received: 04 June 2021. One portion of this research was carried out at the California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 80NSSC20K0555. Another portion of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). C. L. was supported by the 51 peg b Postdoctoral Fellowship sponsored by the Heising-Simons foundation. L. N. F. was supported by EC |H2020 |H2020 Priority Excellent Science |H2020 European Research Council (ERC) (723890). Other authors acknowledge support from the Juno Project of NASA. Data Availability Statement: Juno MWR data used in producing Figure 2 are available through the Planetary Atmospheres Node of the Planetary Data System ( Analyzed data are published in Oyafuso et al. (2020).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Heising-Simons Foundation51 Pegasi b Fellowship
European Research Council (ERC)723890
Subject Keywords:Jupiter; atmosphere; circulation; eddies; waves; Juno
Issue or Number:23
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211201-165438995
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ingersoll, A. P., Atreya, S., Bolton, S. J., Brueshaber, S., Fletcher, L. N., Levin, S. M., et al. (2021). Jupiter's overturning circulation: Breaking waves take the place of solid boundaries. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL095756.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112135
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Dec 2021 17:41
Last Modified:01 Dec 2021 17:41

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