Wave-Flow Interaction in Geophysics, Climate, Astrophysics, and Plasmas

Coordinators: James Cho, Patrick Diamond, Brad Marston, Steve Tobias

Scientific Advisors: Oliver Bühler, David Dritschel, Rick Salmon

Waves that interact strongly with the flowing media in which they propagate are fundamental to many systems. Examples of such wave-flow systems are gravity waves in atmospheres and oceans, planetary waves in weather and climate, tides and inertial waves in planets and stars, density waves in planetary rings and accretion disks, and Alfvén waves in tokomaks and solar wind. However waves and background flows are often characterized by very different spatial and temporal scales. Hence, modeling their interaction poses considerable technical and conceptual challenges.

Significant advances in wave-flow interaction theory, simulation, experiment, and observation over the past decade make this KITP program timely. For example, there is now a better understanding of the role of the interaction in the long-term behavior of the atmosphere and oceans. The program will bring together international researchers with expertise in wave-flow interactions to help solve critical problems across the disciplines of applied mathematics, geophysics, climate, astrophysics, and plasma physics. The program will begin with a week-long conference (March 24 - 27, 2014) that will include overviews and perspectives on eddy - mean-flow interactions in fluids.