Teleconvection: Remotely Driven Thermal Convection in Rotating Stratified Spherical Layers

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Science  08 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5498, pp. 1944-1947
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1944

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We report the discovery of a convective phenomenon found to occur in a rotating spherical system in which an inner convectively unstable fluid layer is bounded by a corotating outer convectively stable fluid layer. Although convection is thermally driven in the unstable interior, the resulting convective motions concentrate primarily in the stable outer region. This phenomenon, which we term teleconvection, suggests that fluid motions observed at the “surface” of a planet (such as Jupiter's alternating zonal winds) may be driven by an energy source located deep inside the planet.

  • * Present address: School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK.

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