Insights on the three-dimensional Lagrangian geometry of the Antarctic Polar Vortex
Jezabel Curbelo1,2, Victor J. García-Garrido1, Carlos R. Mechoso3, Ana M. Mancho1, Stephen Wiggins4, and Coumba Niang1,51Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas, CSIC-UAM-UC3M-UCM. C/ Nicolás Cabrera 15, Campus de Cantoblanco UAM, 28049 Madrid, Spain 2Departamento de Matemáticas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain 3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA 4School of Mathematics, University of Bristol. Bristol BS8 1TW, UK 5Laboratoire de Physique de l’Atmosphere et de l’Ocean Simeon Fongang, Ecole Superieure Polytechnique, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, 5085, Dakar-Fann, Senegal
Received: 10 Feb 2017 – Accepted for review: 13 Feb 2017 – Discussion started: 16 Feb 2017
Abstract. The present paper introduces an algorithm for the visualization, analysis and verification of transport and mixing processes in three-dimensional atmospheric flows. This algorithm is based on the methodology of Lagrangian descriptors (LDs), a technique from Dynamical Systems Theory. The algorithm is applied to reanalysis data in order to illustrate the evolution of the flow above Antarctica during a period of rapid changes in the southern spring of 1979. The evolution of Lagrangian coherent structures is discussed and connections with the stratosphere is examined. The results suggest that the cyclonic stratospheric polar vortex during late winter appears to extend down to the troposphere. The results are also indicative of features related to invariante manifolds that can act as deep vertical barriers to transport between vortices.
Curbelo, J., García-Garrido, V. J., Mechoso, C. R., Mancho, A. M., Wiggins, S., and Niang, C.: Insights on the three-dimensional Lagrangian geometry of the Antarctic Polar Vortex, Nonlin. Processes Geophys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/npg-2017-8, in review, 2017.