On Tuesday, April 13th 2021, Alan Andonian, a Mechanical Engineering senior and an undergraduate researcher presented his research on Fluid Motion Over Topography on a Rotating Earth at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCURS). On Friday, April 23rd he will be presenting this study at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MasssURC). Alan’s mentors were Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) PhD Student Iury Simoes-Sousa and Prof. Amit Tandon from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Alan’s presentation shows a numerical simulation of the ocean phenomena known as the Taylor Column. This counterintuitive phenomenon occurs at large-scales affected by Earth’s rotation. It can also be simulated at smaller scales, as in a rotating tank in the laboratory, which was made difficult by the pandemic. Therefore to demonstrate the effects of rotation in geophysical fluids, a MITgcm numerical model was created (Figure below). From this image, we can see that the flow goes around the topography even towards the surface. It is as if there is an invisible obstacle blocking the flow trajectory, the Taylor Column.
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