Global climate modeling of Saturn's atmosphere. Part III: Global statistical picture of zonostrophic turbulence in high-resolution 3D-turbulent simulations

Simon Cabanes, Aymeric Spiga, Roland M.B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We conduct an in-depth analysis of statistical flow properties calculated from the reference high-resolution Saturn simulation obtained by global climate modelling in Part II. In the steady state of this reference simulation, strongly energetic, zonally dominated, large-scale structures emerge, which scale with the Rhines scale. Spectral analysis reveals a strong anisotropy in the kinetic energy spectra, consistent with the zonostrophic turbulent flow regime. By computing spectral energy and enstrophy fluxes we confirm the existence of a double cascade scenario related to 2D-turbulent theory. To diagnose the relevant 3D dynamical mechanisms in Saturn's turbulent atmosphere, we run a set of four simulations using an idealized version of our Global Climate Model devoid of radiative transfer, with a well-defined Taylor-Green forcing and over several rotation rates (4, 1, 0.5, and 0.25 times Saturn's rotation rate). This allows us to identify dynamics in three distinctive inertial ranges: (1) a “residual-dominated” range, in which non-axisymmetric structures dominate with a −5/3 spectral slope; (2) a “zonostrophic inertial” range, dominated by axisymmetric jets and characterized by the pile-up of strong zonal modes with a steeper, nearly −3, spectral slope; and (3) a “large-scale” range, beyond Rhines' typical length scale, in which the reference Saturn simulation and our idealized simulations differ. In the latter range, the dynamics is dominated by long-lived zonal modes 2 and 3 when a Saturn-like seasonal forcing is considered (reference simulation), and a steep energetic decrease with the idealized Taylor-Green forcing. Finally, instantaneous spectral fluxes show the coexistence of upscale and downscale enstrophy/energy transfers at large scales, specific to the regime of zonostrophic turbulence in a 3D atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113705
JournalIcarus
Volume345
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2020

Keywords

  • Global climate modeling
  • Saturn's zonal jets
  • Spectral analysis
  • Zonostrophic regime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Global climate modeling of Saturn's atmosphere. Part III: Global statistical picture of zonostrophic turbulence in high-resolution 3D-turbulent simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this