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  • Boundary currents  (33)
  • American Meteorological Society  (33)
  • Springer Nature
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 Climate 22 (2009): 3177–3192, doi:10.1175/2008JCLI2690.1.
    Description: Coherent, large-scale shifts in the paths of the Gulf Stream (GS) and the Kuroshio Extension (KE) occur on interannual to decadal time scales. Attention has usually been drawn to causes for these shifts in the overlying atmosphere, with some built-in delay of up to a few years resulting from propagation of wind-forced variability within the ocean. However, these shifts in the latitudes of separated western boundary currents can cause substantial changes in SST, which may influence the synoptic atmospheric variability with little or no time delay. Various measures of wintertime atmospheric variability in the synoptic band (2–8 days) are examined using a relatively new dataset for air–sea exchange [Objectively Analyzed Air–Sea Fluxes (OAFlux)] and subsurface temperature indices of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio path that are insulated from direct air–sea exchange, and therefore are preferable to SST. Significant changes are found in the atmospheric variability following changes in the paths of these currents, sometimes in a local fashion such as meridional shifts in measures of local storm tracks, and sometimes in nonlocal, broad regions coincident with and downstream of the oceanic forcing. Differences between the North Pacific (KE) and North Atlantic (GS) may be partly related to the more zonal orientation of the KE and the stronger SST signals of the GS, but could also be due to differences in mean storm-track characteristics over the North Pacific and North Atlantic.
    Description: Support for this work from various grants [T. Joyce: NSF OCE-0424865; Y.-O. Kwon: The Grayce B. Kerr Fund and The Jessie B. Cox Endowed Fund; L.Yu: NOAA NA17RJ1223 and NASA Vector Wind Science Team through JPL Subcontract 1283726] is gratefully acknowledged.
    Keywords: Synoptic-scale processes ; Winter/cool season ; Atmospheric circulation ; Boundary currents ; Interannual variability
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 1060-1068, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3996.1.
    Description: The response of a weakly stratified layer of fluid to a surface cooling distribution is investigated with linear theory in an attempt to clarify recent numerical results concerning the sinking of cooled water in polar ocean boundary currents. A channel of fluid is forced at the surface by a cooling distribution that varies in the down-channel as well as the cross-channel directions. The resulting geostrophic flow in the central region of the channel impinges on its boundaries, and regions of strong downwelling are observed. For the parameters of the problem investigated, the downwelling occurs in a classical Stewartson layer but the forcing of the layer leads to an unusual relation with the interior flow, which is forced to satisfy the thermal condition on the boundary while the geostrophic normal flow in the interior is brought to rest in the boundary layer. As a consequence of the layer’s dynamics, the resulting long-channel flow exhibits a nonmonotonic approach to the interior flow, and the strongest vertical velocities are limited to the boundary layer whose scale is so small that numerical models resolve the region only with great difficulty. The analytical model presented here is able to reproduce key features of the previous nonlinear numerical calculations.
    Description: This research was supported in part by NSF Grant OCE 0451086.
    Keywords: Forcing ; Boundary currents ; Upwelling, downwelling
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. 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 38 (2008): 2294-2307, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3853.1.
    Description: A linear stability analysis of a meridional boundary current on the beta plane is presented. The boundary current is idealized as a constant-speed meridional jet adjacent to a semi-infinite motionless far field. The far-field region can be situated either on the eastern or the western side of the jet, representing a western or an eastern boundary current, respectively. It is found that when unstable, the meridional boundary current generates temporally growing propagating waves that transport energy away from the locally unstable region toward the neutral far field. This is the so-called radiating instability and is found in both barotropic and two-layer baroclinic configurations. A second but important conclusion concerns the differences in the stability properties of eastern and western boundary currents. An eastern boundary current supports a greater number of radiating modes over a wider range of meridional wavenumbers. It generates waves with amplitude envelopes that decay slowly with distance from the current. The radiating waves tend to have an asymmetrical horizontal structure—they are much longer in the zonal direction than in the meridional, a consequence of which is that unstable eastern boundary currents, unlike western boundary currents, have the potential to act as a source of zonal jets for the interior of the ocean.
    Description: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grants OCE- 0423975 (MS, HH) and OCE-9901654 (JP). HH would like to thank her thesis committee as well as the MIT– WHOI Joint Program for partial financial support.
    Keywords: Instability ; Boundary currents
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  • 4
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. 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. 37 (2007): 2251-2266, doi:10.1175/jpo3116.1.
    Description: This paper examines the role of potential vorticity (PV) balance in source- and sink-driven flows between two basins. As shown in previous studies, PV advection into a basin, say a positive PV advection, requires a negative frictional torque to maintain a steady PV balance. This sense of torque may be provided by a cyclonic boundary current within the basin. The PV advection through a channel is due almost entirely to advection of planetary PV, f/H, where f is the Coriolis parameter and H is the column thickness. Therefore a localized change of depth, and thus H in the channel, directly affects the PV transport and will result in a basinwide change of the circulation pattern. For example, if the channel depth is made shallower while holding the transport fixed, the PV advection is then increased and the result may be a strong recirculation within the basin, as much as two orders of magnitude greater than the transport through the channel. When the basins are connected by two channels at different latitudes or with different sill depths, the throughflow is found to be divided between the two channels in a way that satisfies the integral constraint for flow around an island. The partition of the flow between two channels appears to be such as to minimize the net frictional torque. In still another set of experiments, the large-scale pressure difference (layer thickness) between the basins is specified and held fixed, while the throughflow is allowed to vary in response to changes in the frictional torque. The interbasin transport is strongly influenced by the length of the boundary or the magnitude of the viscosity in the sense that a greater PV frictional torque allows a greater PV transport and vice versa. This result is counterintuitive, if it is assumed that the throughflow is determined by viscous drag within the channel but is a straightforward consequence of the basin-scale PV balance. Thus, the important frictional effect in these experiments is on the basin-scale flow and not on the channel scale.
    Description: This study is supported by NSF Grants OCE-0611530 and OCE-0351055. Price was supported in part by the U.S. Office of Naval Research through Grant 13010900.
    Keywords: Potential vorticity ; Coriolis effect ; Boundary currents ; Advection ; Friction ; Transport
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2011. 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 41 (2011): 1182–1208, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4564.1.
    Description: The authors use data collected by a line of tall current meter moorings deployed across the axis of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) jet at the location of maximum time-mean eddy kinetic energy to characterize the mean jet structure, the eddy variability, and the nature of eddy–mean flow interactions observed during the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS). A picture of the 2-yr record mean jet structure is presented in both geographical and stream coordinates, revealing important contrasts in jet strength, width, vertical structure, and flanking recirculation structure. Eddy variability observed is discussed in the context of some of its various sources: jet meandering, rings, waves, and jet instability. Finally, various scenarios for eddy–mean flow interaction consistent with the observations are explored. It is shown that the observed cross-jet distributions of Reynolds stresses at the KESS location are consistent with wave radiation away from the jet, with the sense of the eddy feedback effect on the mean consistent with eddy driving of the observed recirculations. The authors consider these results in the context of a broader description of eddy–mean flow interactions in the larger KE region using KESS data in combination with in situ measurements from past programs in the region and satellite altimetry. This demonstrates important consistencies in the along-stream development of time-mean and eddy properties in the KE with features of an idealized model of a western boundary current (WBC) jet used to understand the nature and importance of eddy–mean flow interactions in WBC jet systems.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation funding for the KESS program under Grants OCE-0220161 (SW, NGH, and SRJ), OCE- 0825550 (SW), OCE-0850744 (NGH), and OCE-0849808 (SRJ). SW was also supported by the MIT Presidential Fellowship. The financial assistance of the Houghton Fund, the MIT Student Assistance Fund, and WHOI Academic Programs is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Boundary currents ; Jets
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2014. 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 44 (2014): 427–444, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-070.1.
    Description: Between 25 September 2007 and 28 September 2009, a heavily instrumented mooring was deployed in the Labrador Sea, offshore of the location where warm-core, anticyclonic Irminger rings are formed. The 2-year time series offers insight into the vertical and horizontal structure of newly formed Irminger rings and their heat and salt transport into the interior basin. In 2 years, 12 Irminger rings passed by the mooring. Of these, 11 had distinct properties, while 1 anticyclone likely passed the mooring twice. Eddy radii (11–35 km) were estimated using the dynamic height signal of the anticyclones (8–18 cm) together with the observed velocities. The anticyclones show a seasonal cycle in core properties when observed (1.9°C in temperature and 0.07 in salinity at middepth) that has not been described before. The temperature and salinity are highest in fall and lowest in spring. Cold, fresh caps, suggested to be an important source of freshwater, were seen in spring but were almost nonexistent in fall. The heat and freshwater contributions by the Irminger rings show a large spread (from 12 to 108 MJ m−2 and from −0.5 to −4.7 cm, respectively) for two reasons. First, the large range of radii leads to large differences in transported volume. Second, the seasonal cycle leads to changes in heat and salt content per unit volume. This implies that estimates of heat and freshwater transport by eddies should take the distribution of eddy properties into account in order to accurately assess their contribution to the restratification.
    Description: This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the Devonshire Foundation.
    Description: 2014-08-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Mesoscale processes ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Anticyclones ; Boundary currents ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; In situ oceanic observations ; Variability ; Seasonal cycle
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. 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 45 (2015): 294–312, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0104.1.
    Description: Model analyses of an alongshelf flow over a continental shelf and slope reveal upwelling near the shelf break. A stratified, initially uniform, alongshelf flow undergoes a rapid adjustment with notable differences onshore and offshore of the shelf break. Over the shelf, a bottom boundary layer and an offshore bottom Ekman transport develop within an inertial period. Over the slope, the bottom offshore transport is reduced from the shelf’s bottom transport by two processes. First, advection of buoyancy downslope induces vertical mixing, destratifying, and thickening the bottom boundary layer. The downward-tilting isopycnals reduce the geostrophic speed near the bottom. The reduced bottom stress weakens the offshore Ekman transport, a process known as buoyancy shutdown of the Ekman transport. Second, the thickening bottom boundary layer and weakening near-bottom speeds are balanced by an upslope ageostrophic transport. The convergence in the bottom transport induces adiabatic upwelling offshore of the shelf break. For a time period after the initial adjustment, scalings are identified for the upwelling speed and the length scale over which it occurs. Numerical experiments are used to test the scalings for a range of initial speeds and stratifications. Upwelling occurs within an inertial period, reaching values of up to 10 m day−1 within 2 to 7 km offshore of the shelf break. Upwelling drives an interior secondary circulation that accelerates the alongshelf flow over the slope, forming a shelfbreak jet. The model results are compared with upwelling estimates from other models and observations near the Middle Atlantic Bight shelf break.
    Description: J. Benthuysen acknowledges support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CE110001028) and the MIT/WHOI Joint Program, where this work was initiated.
    Description: 2015-07-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Diapycnal mixing ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mixing ; Topographic effects ; Upwelling/downwelling
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. 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 45 (2015): 1410–1425, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0192.1.
    Description: The west-to-east crossover of boundary currents has been seen in mean circulation schemes from several past models of the Red Sea. This study investigates the mechanisms that produce and control the crossover in an idealized, eddy-resolving numerical model of the Red Sea. The authors also review the observational evidence and derive an analytical estimate for the crossover latitude. The surface buoyancy loss increases northward in the idealized model, and the resultant mean circulation consists of an anticyclonic gyre in the south and a cyclonic gyre in the north. In the midbasin, the northward surface flow crosses from the western boundary to the eastern boundary. Numerical experiments with different parameters indicate that the crossover latitude of the boundary currents changes with f0, β, and the meridional gradient of surface buoyancy forcing. In the analytical estimate, which is based on quasigeostrophic, β-plane dynamics, the crossover is predicted to lie at the latitude where the net potential vorticity advection (including an eddy component) is zero. Various terms in the potential vorticity budget can be estimated using a buoyancy budget, a thermal wind balance, and a parameterization of baroclinic instability.
    Description: This work is supported by Award USA 00002, KSA 00011, and KSA 00011/02 made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), by National Science Foundation Grants OCE0927017, OCE1154641, and OCE85464100, and by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Academic Program Office.
    Description: 2015-11-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Buoyancy ; Ocean circulation ; Ocean dynamics
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. 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 45 (2015): 1822–1842, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0147.1.
    Description: Influences of time-dependent precipitation on water mass transformation and heat budgets in an idealized marginal sea are examined using theoretical and numerical models. The equations proposed by Spall in 2012 are extended to cases with time-dependent precipitation whose form is either a step function or a sinusoidal function. The theory predicts the differences in temperature and salinity between the convective water and the boundary current as well as the magnitudes of heat fluxes into the marginal sea and across the sea surface. Moreover, the theory reveals that there are three inherent time scales: relaxation time scales for temperature and salinity and a precipitation time scale. The relaxation time scales are determined by a steady solution of the theoretical model with steady precipitation. The relaxation time scale for temperature is always smaller than that for salinity as a result of not only the difference in the form of fluxes at the surface but also the variation in the eddy transport from the boundary current. These three time scales and the precipitation amplitude determine the strength of the ocean response to changes in precipitation and the phase relation between precipitation, changes in salinity and temperature, and changes in heat fluxes. It is demonstrated that the theoretical predictions agree qualitatively well with results from the eddy-resolving numerical model. This demonstrates the fundamental role of mesoscale eddies in the ocean response to time-dependent forcing and provides a framework with which to assess the extent to which observed variability in marginal sea convection and water mass transformation are consistent with an external forcing by variations in precipitation.
    Description: This work was initiated at the 2013 WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer Program, which was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. This work was also supported by Grant-in-Aid for Research Fellow (25·8466) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT), Japan, the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, MEXT, Japan (YY), and by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE-1232389 (MAS).
    Description: 2016-01-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Precipitation
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-06-01
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2015. 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 45 (2015): 2913–2932, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0179.1.
    Description: The oceanic deep circulation is shared between concentrated deep western boundary currents (DWBCs) and broader interior pathways, a process that is sensitive to seafloor topography. This study investigates the spreading and deepening of Denmark Strait overflow water (DSOW) in the western subpolar North Atlantic using two ° eddy-resolving Atlantic simulations, including a passive tracer injected into the DSOW. The deepest layers of DSOW transit from a narrow DWBC in the southern Irminger Sea into widespread westward flow across the central Labrador Sea, which remerges along the Labrador coast. This abyssal circulation, in contrast to the upper levels of overflow water that remain as a boundary current, blankets the deep Labrador Sea with DSOW. Farther downstream after being steered around the abrupt topography of Orphan Knoll, DSOW again leaves the boundary, forming cyclonic recirculation cells in the deep Newfoundland basin. The deep recirculation, mostly driven by the meandering pathway of the upper North Atlantic Current, leads to accumulation of tracer offshore of Orphan Knoll, precisely where a local maximum of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) inventory is observed. At Flemish Cap, eddy fluxes carry ~20% of the tracer transport from the boundary current into the interior. Potential vorticity is conserved as the flow of DSOW broadens at the transition from steep to less steep continental rise into the Labrador Sea, while around the abrupt topography of Orphan Knoll, potential vorticity is not conserved and the DSOW deepens significantly.
    Description: This work is supported by ONR Award N00014-09-1-0587, the NSF Physical Oceanography Program, and NASA Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Program.
    Description: 2016-06-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Abyssal circulation ; Boundary currents ; Ocean circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Potential vorticity ; Topographic effects
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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