Articles | Volume 33, issue 11
Ann. Geophys., 33, 1343–1347, 2015
Ann. Geophys., 33, 1343–1347, 2015

Regular paper 04 Nov 2015

Regular paper | 04 Nov 2015

Dust devil vortex generation from convective cells

O. Onishchenko2,1, O. Pokhotelov1, W. Horton3, and V. Fedun4 O. Onishchenko et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics of the Earth, 10 B. Gruzinskaya, 123242 Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2Space Research Institute, 84/32, Profsoyuznaya str., 117997 Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 3Institute for Fusion Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
  • 4Space Systems Laboratory, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK

Abstract. We have developed a hydrodynamic theory of the nonlinear stage of dust devil generation in a convectively unstable atmosphere with large-scale seed vertical vorticity. It is shown that convective motion in such an atmosphere transforms into dust devils extremely fast. The strong vortical structure of the dust devils can be formed in a few minutes or even in a fraction of a minute. The formation process strongly depends on the convective instability growth rate and horizontal vorticity.

The work is supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract DEFG02-04ER-54742.