The classical Taylor-Couette flow appears in a homogeneous fluid between two coaxial cylinders rotating with different angular velocities. The stability loss by a Taylor-Couette flow leads to a bifurcation and generation of Taylor toroidal vortices. In this study we consider an analog to this effect in the case of seamounts in a homogeneous ocean on a f-plane. A seamount is approximated by two coaxial cylinders with heights h1, h2 standing one upon the other, the lower cylinder having a larger diameter. Taylor-Couette flow forms in a circular area above the ledge as follows from the differential squeezing of background vorticity above topography. The essential difference from the classical Taylor-Couette flow is the additional background rotation. We demonstrate that in this model ocean a current bifurcation in a circular area above a seamount ledge leads to the generation of toroidal vortices, also known as Taylor vortices in Taylor-Couette flows.
Zyryanov, Valery N.. 2011. "Secondary toroidal vortices above seamounts." Journal of Marine Research 69, (2). https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/journal_of_marine_research/312