Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
Research article
01 Jul 2013
Research article |  | 01 Jul 2013

Diffusion-affected passive scalar transport in an ellipsoidal vortex in a shear flow

K. V. Koshel, E. A. Ryzhov, and V. V. Zhmur

Abstract. By employing an analytical model for a constant-vorticity distributed vortex, namely, the ellipsoidal vortex embedded in a constant buoyancy frequency shear flow, the problem of the passive scalar transport through the vortex's boundary is addressed. Since the model's governing equations do not allow such transition to occur, we implement a low-scale diffusion process into the vortex model. Taking into consideration the diffusion term, we study the passive scalar transport in a steady state (the boundary of the ellipsoidal vortex does not change in time) and in a perturbed state (the boundary of the ellipsoidal vortex changes in time periodically) within the time scope corresponding to the characteristic life cycle of a mesoscale oceanic eddy. An increase of the passive scalar transport through the boundary in the perturbed state in comparison with the steady state due to the irregular dynamics of the surrounding flow is shown. The applicability scopes of the investigation for studying oceanic eddies in nature are discussed.