## An exact local conservation theorem for finite-amplitude disturbances to non-parallel shear flows, with remarks on Hamiltonian structure and on Arnol'd's stability theoremsTools
Mcintyre, M. E. and Shepherd, T. G.
(1987)
To link to this article DOI: 10.1017/S0022112087002209 ## Abstract/SummaryDisturbances of arbitrary amplitude are superposed on a basic flow which is assumed to be steady and either (a) two-dimensional, homogeneous, and incompressible (rotating or non-rotating) or (b) stably stratified and quasi-geostrophic. Flow over shallow topography is allowed in either case. The basic flow, as well as the disturbance, is assumed to be subject neither to external forcing nor to dissipative processes like viscosity. An exact, local ‘wave-activity conservation theorem’ is derived in which the density A and flux F are second-order ‘wave properties’ or ‘disturbance properties’, meaning that they are O(a2) in magnitude as disturbance amplitude a [rightward arrow] 0, and that they are evaluable correct to O(a2) from linear theory, to O(a3) from second-order theory, and so on to higher orders in a. For a disturbance in the form of a single, slowly varying, non-stationary Rossby wavetrain, $\overline{F}/\overline{A}$ reduces approximately to the Rossby-wave group velocity, where (${}^{-}$) is an appropriate averaging operator. F and A have the formal appearance of Eulerian quantities, but generally involve a multivalued function the correct branch of which requires a certain amount of Lagrangian information for its determination. It is shown that, in a certain sense, the construction of conservable, quasi-Eulerian wave properties like A is unique and that the multivaluedness is inescapable in general. The connection with the concepts of pseudoenergy (quasi-energy), pseudomomentum (quasi-momentum), and ‘Eliassen-Palm wave activity’ is noted. The relationship of this and similar conservation theorems to dynamical fundamentals and to Arnol'd's nonlinear stability theorems is discussed in the light of recent advances in Hamiltonian dynamics. These show where such conservation theorems come from and how to construct them in other cases. An elementary proof of the Hamiltonian structure of two-dimensional Eulerian vortex dynamics is put on record, with explicit attention to the boundary conditions. The connection between Arnol'd's second stability theorem and the suppression of shear and self-tuning resonant instabilities by boundary constraints is discussed, and a finite-amplitude counterpart to Rayleigh's inflection-point theorem noted
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