I ran my new favourite experiment again, the planetary Rossby waves. They work super well on the DIYnamics table we built in Kiel and they also worked really well the other day in Bergen.
I mainly ran it today because I wanted to get an idea of how robust the experiment is, i.e. what to prepare for when running it with students in terms of weird results that might have to be explained.
Here is a side view of the square tank with a sloping bottom. The blue ice cube is melting. The melt water is forming a Taylor column down to the bottom of the tank. Some of it then continues down the slope.
Here we are looking at the slope and see the same thing (plus the reflection at the surface). Note how the ice cube and its meltwater column have already moved quite a bit from the corner where I released it!
When the blue ice cube had crossed half the width of the tank and the blue melt water had almost reached the other edge, I released a green ice cube. Sadly the dye wasn’t as intense as the blue one. But it’s quite nice that the wave length between the individual plumes going down the slope stays the same, for all the blue plumes as well as for the new green ones.
Here in the side view we see the columns of the blue and green ice cube, and we also see that each of the plumes going down the slope still has Taylor columns attached at its head.
Here is an accelerated movie of the experiment, 20x faster than real time. Not sure why there is still sloshing in the tank (this time I made sure it was level), but it’s very nice to see that the ice cubes are spinning cyclonically, faster than the tank! As they should, since they are sitting on Taylor columns…
I think next time I really want to make a side view movie of the Taylor columns and plumes. Not quite sure yet how I will manage the lights so they don’t get super annoying…