Thesis

Application of thermal wind equations to the Jovian troposphere & stratosphere

In this thesis we use zonal velocity data at the “cloud layer,” the visible atmospheric surface of Jupiter, and temperature data at 10 constant pressure surfaces above the cloud layer to numerically integrate two versions of the thermal wind equation to determine the mean zonal (east-west) velocity (u) on Jupiter as a function of latitude (λ) and pressure (p) in the region —60° < λ < 60°, 1 < p < 1000 mbar. These calculations are performed in the context of the debate regarding the nature of Jupiter’s jets. We determined that our results are valid far from the equator (| λ| > 30°) and suggest that the jets in this region are as deep as the geostrophic approximation holds, and that near the equator the data is too noisy to quantitatively trust our results, let alone extrapolate below 1000 mbar. Nevertheless, our results at the equator are qualitatively consistent with observations of the quasiquadrennial oscillation in the upper stratosphere.

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