Eddy — Mean-Flow Interactions in Fluids

Coordinators: Brad Marston, Steve Tobias

Scientific Advisors: Oliver Bühler, James Cho, Patrick Diamond, David Dritschel, Rick Salmon

Note that you can submit either a poster or a talk.

Eddies interact with fluids and plasmas in many diverse contexts.  The three-month long KITP Program on "Wave-Flow Interaction in Geophysics, Climate, Astrophysics and Plasmas" will start with a four-day Conference that will provide an overview of eddy -- mean-flow interactions, and also focus on recent developments in the field.  Here we aim to bring together researchers from various fields of research to discuss issues of current interest and identify common difficulties and goals. To that end, each day of the Conference will begin with a pedagogical overview talk, aimed at describing the state-of-play in specific areas of research for a general audience.  Oliver Bühler (NYU) will speak on fundamentals of wave mean-flow interactions.  Ozgur Gurcan (CNRS) will then focus on plasmas; Sergey Nazarenko (Warwick) on weak turbulence; Gordon Ogilvie (Cambridge) on astrophysics; and Bill Young (Scripps) on geophysical fluids.  

Key questions include:  How do wave-like motions at the small scales interact with ambient rotation and stratification to produce large-scale flows (including jets, super- and differential-rotation, angular momentum transport, etc.) and coherent vortices?  What are the practical limits of reduced flow models (e.g., quasi-geostrophic, shallow-water, primitive, and Euler) that filter out different types of waves? Atmospheres can have highly symmetric zonal mean flows, but many problems (including ocean basins) involve much less symmetric flows with, for instance, time-dependent vortices.  Can theories be developed to describe such flows?  How do correlations between highly anisotropic and inhomogeneous small-scales and the large-scale motions and domain boundaries precisely arise?  What are the mechanisms that drive large-scale flows in giant planets, stars and disks?  What is the role of magnetic fields in modifying conservation laws and in driving organized flows in astrophysical bodies?  How do systematic magnetic fields and the fluctuations in those fields interact?  What is the nature of wave-flow interaction in the context of turbulence, transport, and pattern selection in magnetized plasmas – especially in tokamaks, including ITER?  An absolutely crucial element in the turbulence dynamics is the zonal flow generation by turbulent Reynolds stresses.  What is the precise mechanism for this non-local (in scale space) wave-flow interaction?  What is the physics of the magnetic counterpart of zonal flow, the zonal field, and its relation to dynamic phenomena?  

Other session talks, and a poster session, will address current research issues at the frontier of eddy -- mean-flow interactions.  The format of the Conference will leave plenty of time for discussions during long coffee and lunch breaks as well as pure discussion sessions at the end of each day.  Questions that emerge from the Conference will serve to stimulate work during the Program that runs through June 20, 2014.

Poster Session During the conference there will be a poster session. Each poster board is 4' high x 6' long mounted on two vertical uprights, making available a space of 44” high and 34” wide for each poster.