### Abstract

Particle motion is considered in incompressible two-dimensional flows consisting of a steady background gyre on which an unsteady wave-like perturbation is superimposed. A dynamical systems point of view that exploits the action-angle formalism is adopted. It is argued and demonstrated numerically that for a large class of problems one expects to observe a mixed phase space, i.e. the occurrence of "regular islands" in an otherwise "chaotic sea." This leads to patchiness in the evolution of passive tracer distributions. Also, it is argued and demonstrated numerically that particle trajectory stability is largely controlled by the background flow: trajectory instability, quantified by various measures of the "degree of chaos," increases on average with increasing |dω/dI|, where ω(I) is the angular frequency of the trajectory in the background flow and I is the action.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 67-74 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics |

Volume | 11 |

Issue number | 1 |

State | Published - 2004 |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Geophysics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

### Cite this

**Passive tracer patchiness and particle trajectory stability in incompressible two-dimensional flows.** / Beron-Vera, Francisco J; Olascoaga, Maria J; Brown, Michael G.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Passive tracer patchiness and particle trajectory stability in incompressible two-dimensional flows

AU - Beron-Vera, Francisco J

AU - Olascoaga, Maria J

AU - Brown, Michael G

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Particle motion is considered in incompressible two-dimensional flows consisting of a steady background gyre on which an unsteady wave-like perturbation is superimposed. A dynamical systems point of view that exploits the action-angle formalism is adopted. It is argued and demonstrated numerically that for a large class of problems one expects to observe a mixed phase space, i.e. the occurrence of "regular islands" in an otherwise "chaotic sea." This leads to patchiness in the evolution of passive tracer distributions. Also, it is argued and demonstrated numerically that particle trajectory stability is largely controlled by the background flow: trajectory instability, quantified by various measures of the "degree of chaos," increases on average with increasing |dω/dI|, where ω(I) is the angular frequency of the trajectory in the background flow and I is the action.

AB - Particle motion is considered in incompressible two-dimensional flows consisting of a steady background gyre on which an unsteady wave-like perturbation is superimposed. A dynamical systems point of view that exploits the action-angle formalism is adopted. It is argued and demonstrated numerically that for a large class of problems one expects to observe a mixed phase space, i.e. the occurrence of "regular islands" in an otherwise "chaotic sea." This leads to patchiness in the evolution of passive tracer distributions. Also, it is argued and demonstrated numerically that particle trajectory stability is largely controlled by the background flow: trajectory instability, quantified by various measures of the "degree of chaos," increases on average with increasing |dω/dI|, where ω(I) is the angular frequency of the trajectory in the background flow and I is the action.

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M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 67

EP - 74

JO - Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics

JF - Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics

SN - 1023-5809

IS - 1

ER -