Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 8, 439–448, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-8-439-2001

Special issue: Quantifying Predictability

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 8, 439–448, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-8-439-2001

  31 Dec 2001

31 Dec 2001

Lyapunov, Floquet, and singular vectors for baroclinic waves

R. M. Samelson R. M. Samelson
  • College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, 104 Ocean Admin Bldg, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Abstract. The dynamics of the growth of linear disturbances to a chaotic basic state is analyzed in an asymptotic model of weakly nonlinear, baroclinic wave-mean interaction. In this model, an ordinary differential equation for the wave amplitude is coupled to a partial differential equation for the zonal flow correction. The leading Lyapunov vector is nearly parallel to the leading Floquet vector f1 of the lowest-order unstable periodic orbit over most of the attractor. Departures of the Lyapunov vector from this orientation are primarily rotations of the vector in an approximate tangent plane to the large-scale attractor structure. Exponential growth and decay rates of the Lyapunov vector during individual Poincaré section returns are an order of magnitude larger than the Lyapunov exponent l ≈ 0.016. Relatively large deviations of the Lyapunov vector from parallel to f1 are generally associated with relatively large transient decays. The transient growth and decay of the Lyapunov vector is well described by the transient growth and decay of the leading Floquet vectors of the set of unstable periodic orbits associated with the attractor. Each of these vectors is also nearly parallel to f1. The dynamical splitting of the complete sets of Floquet vectors for the higher-order cycles follows the previous results on the lowest-order cycle, with the vectors divided into wave-dynamical and decaying zonal flow modes. Singular vectors and singular values also generally follow this split. The primary difference between the leading Lyapunov and singular vectors is the contribution of decaying, inviscidly-damped wave-dynamical structures to the singular vectors.