Vorticity, Potential Vorticity

Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 329)


This lecture recalls the basic properties of vorticity and provides a summary of the main conservation laws associated with vorticity and its related quantities. It will be stated as clearly as possible how these different properties are used in industrial situations and in geophysical flows. The content is very classic; details of calculations may be found in chapter 2 of Pedlosky’s book [1] and in chapter 1 of Greenspan’s book [2]. The subject of vorticity dynamics is one which is attracting much attention at the moment; this presentation of vorticity dynamics is restricted to some basic properties that are used in this volume. More complex conservation laws, like for instance the conservation of helicity in a vortical flow (Moffatt [3]), arc not discussed. The dynamics of point vortices (Aref et al [4]) is also not treated in this volume. An advanced account of the dynamics of vortex filament dynamics is given in this volume by Moore [5].


Potential Vorticity Vortex Tube Point Vortex Relative Vorticity Rossby Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Mory
    • 1
  1. 1.University J.F. and CNRSGrenoble CedexFrance

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