Decoupling Jupiter's deep and atmospheric flows using the upcoming Juno gravity measurements and a dynamical inverse model

Eli Galanti, Yohai Kaspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Observations of the flow on Jupiter exists essentially only for the cloud-level, which is dominated by strong east-west jet-streams. These have been suggested to result from dynamics in a superficial thin weather-layer, or alternatively be a manifestation of deep interior cylindrical flows. However, it is possible that the observed wind is indeed superficial, yet there exists a completely decoupled deep flow. To date, all models linking the wind, via the induced density anomalies, to the gravity field, to be measured by Juno, consider only flow that is a projection of the observed cloud-level wind. Here we explore the possibility of complex wind dynamics that include both the shallow weather-layer wind, and a deep flow that is decoupled from the flow above it. The upper flow is based on the observed cloud-level flow and is set to decay with depth. The deep flow is constructed to produce cylindrical structures with variable width and magnitude, thus allowing for a wide range of possible scenarios for the unknown deep flow. The combined flow is then related to the density anomalies and gravitational moments via a dynamical model. An adjoint inverse model is used for optimizing the parameters controlling the setup of the deep and surface-bound flows, so that these flows can be reconstructed given a gravity field. We show that the model can be used for examination of various scenarios, including cases in which the deep flow is dominating over the surface wind, and discuss the uncertainties associated with the model solution. The flexibility of the adjoint method allows for a wide range of dynamical setups, so that when new observations and physical understanding will arise, these constraints could be easily implemented and used to better decipher Jupiter flow dynamics. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Apr 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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