Cylinders aligned with the planetary rotation axis have a special significance in the dynamics of planetary dynamo regions. The azimuthal Lorentz forces on these geostrophic cylinders is expected to cancel to a large degree, establishing the so-called Taylor state. Deviations from this state take the form of torsional oscillations (TOs) that are supposed to represent important fast flow variations. These oscillations have reportedly been identified in the secular variation signal from the top of Earth's core. We have performed several dynamo simulations at different parameters to check whether Taylor state and TOs can also be identified in a numerical model. Taylor states are approached when viscous effects are small at Ekman numbers of E = 3 x 10-5 or below and Reynolds stresses are kept low by choosing moderate Rayleigh numbers. One-dimensional magnetic Alfven waves that travel towards the boundaries then become prominent in the motion of the geostrophic cylinders. These waves obey the TO theory but are also damped and modified by other effects. For example, fast variations of likely convective origin remain important in all our simulations. Reynolds stresses may play a more sizable role for the dynamics in Earth's dynamo region than commonly assumed. They may also contribute to the motions of geostrophic cylinders and severely reduce the significance of TOs for the fast core dynamics. The amplitude of TOs amounts to not more than a few percent of the total flow amplitude in the simulations, which renders these motions insignificant for the long-term dynamo process.
Junb
181 3g
English
596WOyISI:000277716400012c 2010
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