Direct Measurement of Energy Transfer in Strongly Driven Rotating Turbulence

Omri Shaltiel, Alon Salhov, Omri Gat, Eran Sharon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A short, abrupt increase in energy injection rate into steady strongly driven rotating turbulent flow is used as a probe for energy transfer in the system. The injected excessive energy is localized in time and space and its spectra differ from those of the steady turbulent flow. This allows measuring energy transfer rates, in three different domains: In real space, the injected energy propagates within the turbulent field, as a wave packet of inertial waves. In the frequency domain, energy is transferred nonlocally to the low, quasigeostrophic modes. In wave number space, energy locally cascades toward small wave numbers, in a rate that is consistent with two-dimensional (2D) turbulence models. Surprisingly however, the inverse cascade of energy is mediated by inertial waves that propagate within the flow with small, but nonvanishing frequency. Our observations differ from measurements and theoretical predictions of weakly driven turbulence. Yet, they show that in strongly driven rotating turbulence, inertial waves play an important role in energy transfer, even in the vicinity of the 2D manifold.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - 31 May 2024

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© 2024 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.


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