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Research on jet streams on giant planets


The following movies show numerical simulations of the shallow-water equations performed using the EPIC code. The goal is to test how thunderstorm turbulence affects the large-scale circulation on Jupiter and Saturn. In each case, small, localized mass pulses are added to the layer to represent mass transported by thunderstorms from Jupiter's deep atmosphere into its cloud layer. Radiation removes mass evenly from the layer, allowing a steady state to be achieved. Most of the movies below show layer thickness; some show potential vorticity.

A case 120 degrees longitude x 70 degrees latitude, resolution 512 x 298. Storms have radius of 0.7 degrees, time constant of 1e5 sec, and are injected every once 0.6 Earth days. Movie runs for 4200 Earth days of simulated time and contains over 2200 frames (spacing between frames nearly 2 Earth days).

shallow-water55 height optimized gifsicle version

convert LZW compression

relative vorticity

horizontal divergence

potential vorticity



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