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Horseshoes in hurricanes

Du Toit, Philip C. and Marsden, Jerrold E. (2010) Horseshoes in hurricanes. Journal of Fixed Point Theory and Applications, 7 (2). pp. 351-384. ISSN 1661-7738.

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The method of using Finite Time Liapunov Exponents (FTLE) to extract Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) in aperiodic flows, as originally developed by Haller, is applied to geophysical flows. In this approach, the LCS are identified as surfaces of greatest separation that parse the flow into regions with different dynamical behavior. In this way, the LCS reveal the underlying skeleton of turbulence. The time-dependence of the LCS provides insight into the mechanisms by which fluid is transported from one region to another. Of especial interest in this study is the utility with which the FTLE-LCS method can be used to reveal homoclinic and horseshoe dynamics in aperiodic flows. The FTLE-LCS method is applied to turbulent flow in hurricanes and reveals LCS that delineate sharp boundaries to a storm. Moreover, intersections of the LCS define lobes that mediate transport into and out of a storm through the action of homoclinic lobe dynamics. Using the FTLE-LCS method, the same homoclinic structures are seen to be a dominant transport mechanism in the Global Ocean, and provide insights into the role of mesoscale eddies in enhancing lateral mixing.

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Additional Information:© 2010 Springer Basel AG. Published online September 16, 2010.
Subject Keywords:Finite time Lyapunov exponents; Lagrangian coherent structures; homoclinic tangles; hurricanes; mesoscale ocean eddies; transport; mixing
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Mathematics Subject Classification (2010): 37C10, 86-08, 76-04.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110214-103950432
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22166
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:16 Feb 2011 22:36
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:35

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