Publication Abstracts

Simon-Miller et al. 2012

Simon-Miller, A.A., J.H. Rogers, P.J. Gierasch, D. Choi, M.D. Allison, A. Adamoli, and H.-J. Mettig, 2012: Longitudinal variation and waves in Jupiter's south equatorial wind jet. Icarus, 218, 817-830, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.01.022.

A detailed study of the chevron-shaped dark spots on the strong southern equatorial wind jet near 7.5°S planetographic latitude shows variations in velocity with longitude and time. The presence of the large anticyclonic South Equatorial Disturbance (SED) has a profound effect on the chevron velocity, causing slower velocities to its east and increasing with distance from the disturbance. The chevrons move with velocities near the maximum wind jet velocity of ~140 m/s, as deduced by the history of velocities at this latitude and the magnitude of the symmetric wind jet near 7°N latitude. Their repetitive nature is consistent with a gravity-inertia wave (n = 75-100) with phase speed up to 25 m/s, relative to the local flow, but the identity of this wave mode is not well constrained. However, for the first time, high spatial resolution movies from Cassini images show that the chevrons oscillate in latitude with a 6.7±0.7-day period. This oscillating motion has a wavelength of ~20° and a speed of 101±3 m/s, following a pattern similar to that seen in the Rossby wave plumes of the North Equatorial Zone, and possibly reinforced by it. All dates show chevron latitude variability, but it is unclear if this larger wave is present during other epochs, as there are no other suitable time series movies that fully delineate it. In the presence of multiple wave modes, the difference in dominant cloud appearance between 7°N and 7.5°S is likely due to the presence of the Great Red Spot, either through changes in stratification and stability or by acting as a wave boundary.