How waves and turbulence maintain the super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere

Horinouchi, Takeshi ; et al.

Année de publication

Venus has a thick atmosphere that rotates 60 times as fast as the surface, a phenomenon known as super-rotation. We use data obtained from the orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft to investigate how the super-rotation is maintained in the cloud layer, where the rotation speed is highest. A thermally induced latitudinal-vertical circulation acts to homogenize the distribution of the angular momentum around the rotational axis. Maintaining the super-rotation requires this to be counteracted by atmospheric waves and turbulence. Among those effects, thermal tides transport the angular momentum, which maintains the rotation peak, near the cloud top at low latitudes. Other planetary-scale waves and large-scale turbulence act in the opposite direction. We suggest that hydrodynamic instabilities adjust the angular-momentum distribution at mid-latitudes. </p>

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