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Eddies, waves, circulation, and mixing: statistical geofluid mechanics. (English) Zbl 0609.76041
Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 18, 91-147 (1986).
[For the entire collection see Zbl 0591.00022.]
A statistical mechanics approach of macro-scale geophysical flows is presented in this review which in the author’s opinion provided a synthesizing point of view. The statistical mechanics approach presented here perceives a process of entropy generation and a tendency towards its maximisation. Methods for quantitative calculation have been given which have been tested on a variety of problems against empirical results collected from numerical calculations. Comparison of results have been made throughout from the use of equilibrium and disequilibrium methods which are related by entropy in terms of the probability distributions for macro-scale flows. This very much resembles the information theory approach.
Although there are some doubts expressed by the author about the entire validity of some of the assumptions made, I find his approach refreshing and off the beaten-track.
Reviewer: H.S.Takhar

76E20 Stability and instability of geophysical and astrophysical flows
82B05 Classical equilibrium statistical mechanics (general)
76B60 Atmospheric waves (MSC2010)
86A10 Meteorology and atmospheric physics
94A15 Information theory (general)
62B10 Statistical aspects of information-theoretic topics