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Do Rossby-wave critical layers absorb, reflect, or over-reflect?

Peter D. Killworth and Michael E. McIntyre

*J. Fluid Mech* vol. **161**, pp. 449-492 (1985).

This paper studies the `generalized Stewartson-Warn-Warn
problem', the simplest class of models explicitly
showing, in complete detail, the nature of the
interplay between
Rossby waves and a
`surf zone' where they break
(pdf file, 0.9Mbyte).
The paper can be
downloaded from here
as a .pdf (acrobat) file (4 Mbyte, © 1985 Cambridge University Press).

Please note that a correction is needed halfway down page 455.
The magnitude of alpha(infinity), which is 3.086, is only half the area of
the finely dotted rectangle in figure 1. We forgot the factor
1/2 in equation (2.36), p. 465.

In item (ii) on page 454, we're guilty of using
the phrase `sources and sinks of vorticity' in a loose sense.
Since the paper was written, it has been more clearly recognized
that vorticity and potential vorticity behave more like electric
charge, having no net source or sink within a fluid domain.
One can have `pair production' but not creation of net charge.
For careful discussions of the concepts involved, see
Haynes and McIntyre (1990),
`On the conservation and impermeability theorems for
potential vorticity'
*J. Atmos. Sci.* **47**, 2021
(.pdf, 1.1 Mbyte, copyright © American Meteorological
Society),
and section 11, pp. 36ff., of the review article
`Atmospheric
dynamics: some fundamentals'
from the 1993 Enrico Fermi School.

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Michael Edgeworth McIntyre (mem at damtp.cam.ac.uk),
DAMTP,
University of Cambridge,
Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EW

*Last updated 22 July 2009*