5. The Quasi-Geostrophic Theory

  1. Marcello Lappa

Published Online: 24 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118342411.ch5

Rotating Thermal Flows in Natural and Industrial Processes

Rotating Thermal Flows in Natural and Industrial Processes

How to Cite

Lappa, M. (2012) The Quasi-Geostrophic Theory , in Rotating Thermal Flows in Natural and Industrial Processes, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118342411.ch5

Author Information

  1. Naples, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 31 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119960799

Online ISBN: 9781118342411



  • the quasi-geostrophic theory;
  • interacting PV anomalies, or ‘potential vorticity thinking’;
  • Rossby-Ertel's PV, dynamical behaviour of planetary atmospheres;
  • meteorology/mesoscale oceanography, and QG approximation;
  • perturbation energy equation, and baroclinic energy contributions;
  • QG theory models/theorems, and cause-and-effect;
  • Rayleigh and the Charney–Stern theorems, and hydrodynamic instability;
  • PV gradient and meridional signs, the Charney–Stern theorem;
  • interlevel interactions in cyclogenesis, electrostatic analogy for QG;
  • CRW to shear instability in PV, two-CRW in complex shear flows


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Potential Vorticity Perspective

  • The Perturbation Energy Equation

  • Derivation of Necessary Conditions for Instability

  • A Generalization of the Potential Vorticity Concept

  • The Concept of Interlevel Interaction

  • The Counter-Propagating Rossby-Wave Perspective on Baroclinic Instability

  • Barotropic Instability

  • Extensions of the CRW Perspective

  • The Over-reflection Theory and Its Connections to Other Theoretical Models

  • Nonmodal Growth, Optimal Perturbations and Resonance

  • Limits of the CRW Theory