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  • 2015-2019  (2)
  • 2019  (2)
  • 1
    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2020-02-18
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49 (2), (2019): 607-630, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-18-0166.1.
    Description: The Lagrangian motion in the eddy field produced from an unstable retrograde jet along the shelf break is studied from idealized numerical experiments with a primitive equation model. The jet is initially in thermal wind balance with a cross-isobath density gradient and is not subjected to any atmospheric forcing. Over the course of the model integration, the jet becomes unstable and produces a quasi-stationary eddy field over a 2-month period. During this period, the cross-slope flow at the shelf break is characterized by along-slope correlation scales of O(10) km and temporal correlation scales of a few days. The relative dispersion of parcels across isobaths is found to increase with time as tb, where 1 〈 b 〈 2. This mixed diffusive–ballistic regime appears to reflect the combined effects of (i) the short length scales of velocity correlation at the shelf break and (ii) the seaward excursion of monopolar and dipolar vortices. Cross-slope dispersion is greater offshore of the front than inshore of the front, as offshore parcels are both subducted onshore below density surfaces and translated offshore with eddies. Nonetheless, the exchange of parcels across the jet remains very limited on the monthly time scale. Particles originating from the bottom experience upward displacements of a few tens of meters and seaward displacements of O(100) km, suggesting that the eddy activity engendered by an unstable along-slope jet provides another mechanism for bottom boundary layer detachment near the shelf edge.
    Description: The author expresses his gratitude to the researchers who contributed to the development and public dissemination of POM [for a list of contributors, see Mellor (2002) and comments in the source code]. Discussions with Kenneth Brink, Hyodae Seo, and Weifeng Zhang have been helpful. Comments provided by Kenneth Brink on a draft are gratefully acknowledged. The criticism from two anonymous reviewers allowed us to better focus the manuscript and to significantly improve its clarity. This work has been supported by Grant OCE-1556400 from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Description: 2020-02-18
    Keywords: Dispersion ; Eddies ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Instability ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Jets
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-02-26
    Description: The oceanic cycles of thorium-230 and protactinium-231 are affected by a number of processes, such as removal by adsorption to settling particles and transport by ocean currents. Measurements obtained as part of GEOTRACES and earlier programs have shown that, in the North Atlantic, the activities of dissolved 230Th (230Thd) and 231Pa (231Pad) at abyssal depths are lower near the western margin than in the basin interior. At least two factors could explain the lower 230Thd and 231Pad near the margin: (i) intensified scavenging in benthic nepheloid layers (BNLs) extending a thousand meters or more above the seafloor; and (ii) ventilation by relatively 230Thd- and 231Pad-poor waters emanating from the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC).Here a regional ocean circulation model with ?eddy-permitting' resolution (1/4) that incorporates 230Th and 231Pa is used in an effort to reproduce the observed distributions of 230Th and 231Pa in the western North Atlantic. In this model, 230Th and 231Pa removal from solution is governed by a prescribed distribution of particulate matter that is derived from a recent synthesis of nephelometer and transmissometer data. The model simulates a meandering Gulf Stream and a DWBC along the continental slope and rise, although noticeable differences with physical observations also exist. A model solution is found that explains most of the variance of 230Thd measurements (85%) and 231Pad measurements (81%) from (pre-)GEOTRACES cruises. On the other hand, measurements of particulate 230Th (230Thp) and 231Pa (231Pap) are more difficult to reproduce, with the same solution accounting for only 49% (11%) of the 230Thp (231Pap) variance. Sensitivity experiments suggest that the low 230Thd and 231Pad activities observed near the western margin are due to enhanced removal rates of both nuclides in BNLs rather than to deep water ventilation from the western boundary. The radionuclide activities present in the DWBC at its inflow location are also found to strongly influence the basin-scale distributions of 230Th and 231Pa. Overall, our study points to BNLs as important sites of 230Th and 231Pa scavenging in the ocean and illustrates the difficulty to explain simultaneously radionuclide measurements in dissolved and particulate forms in the studied area.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN78046 , Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers (ISSN 0967-0637) (e-ISSN 1879-0119); 155; 103159
    Format: text
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