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On the energetics of a tidally oscillating convective flow

  • Terquem, Caroline
Publication Date
Sep 04, 2023
Submission Date
Sep 04, 2023
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stad2163
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This paper examines the energetics of a convective flow subject to an oscillation with a period $t_{\rm osc}$ much smaller than the convective timescale $t_{\rm conv}$, allowing for compressibility and uniform rotation. We show that the energy of the oscillation is exchanged with the kinetic energy of the convective flow at a rate $D_R$ that couples the Reynolds stress of the oscillation with the convective velocity gradient. For the equilibrium tide and inertial waves, this is the only energy exchange term, whereas for p modes there are also exchanges with the potential and internal energy of the convective flow. Locally, $\left| D_R \right| \sim u^{\prime 2} /t_{\rm conv}$, where $u^{\prime}$ is the oscillating velocity. If $t_{\rm conv} \ll t_{\rm osc}$ and assuming mixing length theory, $\left| D_R \right|$ is $\left( \lambda_{\rm conv}/ \lambda_{\rm osc} \right)^2$ smaller, where $\lambda_{\rm conv}$ and $\lambda_{\rm osc}$ are the characteristic scales of convection and the oscillation. Assuming local dissipation, we show that the equilibrium tide lags behind the tidal potential by a phase $\delta \left( r \right) \sim r \omega_{\rm osc}/ \left( g \left( r \right) t_{\rm conv} \left( r \right)\right)$, where $g$ is the gravitational acceleration. The equilibrium tide can be described locally as a harmonic oscillator with natural frequency $\left( g / r \right)^{1/2}$ and subject to a damping force $-u^{\prime}/t_{\rm conv}$. Although $\delta \left( r \right) $ varies by orders of magnitude through the flow, it is possible to define an average phase shift $\overline{\delta}$ which is in good agreement with observations for Jupiter and some of the moons of Saturn. Finally, $1 / \overline{\delta}$ is shown to be equal to the standard tidal dissipation factor.

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