## Non-ergodicity of inviscid two-dimensional flow on a beta-plane and on the surface of a rotating sphere
Shepherd, T. G.
(1987)
It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing. To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0022112087002891 ## Abstract/SummaryIt is shown that, for a sufficiently large value of β, two-dimensional flow on a doubly-periodic beta-plane cannot be ergodic (phase-space filling) on the phase-space surface of constant energy and enstrophy. A corresponding result holds for flow on the surface of a rotating sphere, for a sufficiently rapid rotation rate Ω. This implies that the higher-order, non-quadratic invariants are exerting a significant influence on the statistical evolution of the flow. The proof relies on the existence of a finite-amplitude Liapunov stability theorem for zonally symmetric basic states with a non-vanishing absolute-vorticity gradient. When the domain size is much larger than the size of a typical eddy, then a sufficient condition for non-ergodicity is that the wave steepness ε < 1, where ε = 2[surd radical]2Z/βU in the planar case and $\epsilon = 2^{\frac{1}{4}} a^{\frac{5}{2}}Z^{\frac{7}{4}}/\Omega U^{\frac{5}{2}}$ in the spherical case, and where Z is the enstrophy, U the r.m.s. velocity, and a the radius of the sphere. This result may help to explain why numerical simulations of unforced beta-plane turbulence (in which ε decreases in time) seem to evolve into a non-ergodic regime at large scales.
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