Validity of the one and one-half layer quasi-geostrophic model and effective topography

Andrew Majda, Xiaoming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We rigorously justify the so-called one and one-half layer quasi-geostrophic model from the two layer model as the ratio of the depth of the bottom layer over that of the top layer approaches infinity. The effective dynamics is given by the classical barotropic quasi-geostrophic dynamics for the bottom layer without topography, and the one layer quasi-geostrophic dynamics with the stream function of the bottom layer serving as an effective (possibly time-dependent) topography for the the top layer. Such a one and one-half layer model is utilized in successful quantitative prediction of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter (see Turkington et al., 2001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1305-1314
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications in Partial Differential Equations
Issue number7-9
StatePublished - Nov 23 2005



  • Effective topography
  • One and one-half layer model
  • Quasi-geostrophic model
  • Two-layer model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics

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