The Open UniversitySkip to content

Jupiter's and Saturn's convectively driven banded jets in the laboratory

Read, P.L.; Yamazaki, Y.H.; Lewis, S.R.; Williams, P.D.; Miki-Yamazaki, K.; Sommeria, J.; Didelle, H. and Fincham, A. (2004). Jupiter's and Saturn's convectively driven banded jets in the laboratory. Geophysical Research Letters, 31 L22701.1-5.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The banded patterns of cloud and wind are among the most striking features of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, but their dynamical origin remains poorly understood. Most approaches towards understanding zonation so far (also in the terrestrial oceans) have used highly idealized models to show that it might originate from dynamical anisotropy in a shallow turbulent fluid layer due to the planetary β-effect. Here we report the results of laboratory experiments, conducted on a 14-m diameter turntable, which quantitatively confirm that multiple zonal jets may indeed be generated and maintained by this mechanism in the presence of deep convection and a topographic β-effect. At the very small values of Ekman number (≤2 × 10−5) and large local Reynolds numbers (≥2000, based on jet scales) achieved, the kinetic energy spectra suggest the presence of both energy-cascading and enstrophy-cascading inertial ranges in addition to the zonation near twice the Rhines wave number.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0094-8276
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 4924
Depositing User: Users 6041 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2016 16:18
Share this page:


Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU