The development of coherent vortices from the discharge of a 40 cm long line plume into a rotating stratified fluid, as viewed from above. The plume rises to its level of neutral buoyancy, where it spreads as a neutral cloud. The spreading is influenced by the system rotation: the Coriolis force generates a strong shear across the neutral cloud, which goes unstable and breaks into six anticyclonic lens-shaped vortices. The dependence of the scale of the structures on the source conditions is developed on the basis of scaling arguments, and validated experimentally in Bush & Woods (1999).
The relevance of this study to two oceanographic
problems has been considered. The discharge of hydrothermal fluid from
active mid-ocean ridge spreading centers is discussed in Woods
& Bush (1999), and the generation of arctic eddies
by lead-induced thermohaline convection in Bush
& Woods (2000).
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