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Interaction of moist convection with zonal jets on Jupiter and Saturn

Li, Liming and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Huang, Xianglei (2006) Interaction of moist convection with zonal jets on Jupiter and Saturn. Icarus, 180 (1). pp. 113-123. ISSN 0019-1035.

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Observations suggest that moist convection plays an important role in the large-scale dynamics of Jupiter's and Saturn's atmospheres. Here we use a reduced-gravity quasigeostrophic model, with a parameterization of moist convection that is based on observations, to study the interaction between moist convection and zonal jets on Jupiter and Saturn. Stable jets with approximately the same width and strength as observations are generated in the model. The observed zonal jets violate the barotropic stability criterion but the modeled jets do so only if the flow in the deep underlying layer is westward. The model results suggest that a length scale and a velocity scale associated with moist convection control the width and strength of the jets. The length scale and velocity scale offer a possible explanation of why the jets of Saturn are stronger and wider than those of Jupiter.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Li, Liming0000-0002-5257-9849
Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Huang, Xianglei0000-0002-7129-614X
Additional Information:© 2005 Elsevier Inc. Received 4 March 2005, Revised 22 July 2005, Available online 9 November 2005. We thank Melissa Strausberg, Glenn Flierl, and Mimi Gerstell for useful discussions and two reviewers for constructive critique. This work was supported by NASA's planetary atmospheres program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Jupiter; atmosphere; Saturn; atmosphere; Atmospheres; dynamics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121212-154919132
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Official Citation:Liming Li, Andrew P. Ingersoll, Xianglei Huang, Interaction of moist convection with zonal jets on Jupiter and Saturn, Icarus, Volume 180, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 113-123, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35965
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:29 Sep 2015 23:02
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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