Numerical Modeling of Atmospheric Jet Streams on Jupiter and Saturn: Their Formation and Stability
AuthorSayanagi, Kunio M
AdvisorShowman, Adam P.
Committee ChairShowman, Adam P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI studied the atmospheric jet streams of Jupiter and Saturn through numerical simulations. Jupiter and Saturn have approximately 30 and 15 jet streams, respectively, alternatively blowing eastward and westward at the cloud level. My studies are motivated by recent space probe observations of the giant planets, which are revealing vertical structures and time dependent behaviors of the atmospheric jets. Such new findings are important keys to understanding how the jets are driven and maintained. My first project tested the hypothesis that a large convective storm on Saturn observed in 1990 decelerated the equatorial jet. The equatorial jet's speed is reported to be ∼275 ms⁻¹ today, half of the speed measured by the Voyagers in 1980-81. It has been hypothesized that the large storm is responsible for causing the observed slowdown. Our result shows that the storm's effect is insufficient to cause a slowdown of the observed magnitude. The second project investigated the formation of Jovian jet streams, namely, whether Jupiter-like atmospheric jets emerge from self-organization of small initial vortices. Thunderstorms are observed on Jupiter and have been proposed to be the sources of small-scale vorticity. Our result shows that self-organization of initial small vortices leads to east-west jets under various Jupiter-like conditions. Third, I tested the stability of shallow atmospheric jets under Jovian conditions. Deep atmospheric jets have been shown to be stable on Jupiter; however, the possibility that those jets are shallow, with the point of zero-motion at perhaps ∼100-bar level, is not well explored and deserves a thorough examination.