A monopolar vortex encounters an isolated topographic feature on a β-plane

J.H.G.M. van Geffen, P.A. Davies

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    A two-dimensional (2D) numerical model is used to investigate the possible effects of a cosine-shaped, circularly symmetric seamount on the motion of a monopolar vortex on a ß-plane. The monopole moves to the northwest due to the ß-effect and encounters the seamount from the southeast. The lateral dimension of the topographic feature is varied between one and four times that of the monopole and the seamount is located at latitudes between far south and far north of the equator. For comparable topographic and vortex scales, the monopole's trajectory differs somewhat from its trajectory in the absence of any bottom topography, the difference being bigger for mountains further away from the equator. Large seamounts in the southern hemisphere can deflect the monopole more towards the north or they can rebound the monopole back to the southeast, thus forming a barrier for the vortex. Large seamounts in the northern hemisphere deform the monopole significantly, leading to complicated trajectories after the vortex has crossed the topography, or to trapping (permanently or temporarily) by the topography. If it is trapped, the monopole circles around the top of me mountain, while performing small loops, and it is eventually destroyed by the topography-induced vorticity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-26
    Number of pages26
    JournalDynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


    • vortex
    • topographic feature
    • β-plane


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