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  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2019-03-12
    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
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-08-30
    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(7), (2019): 1889-1904, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-19-0053.1.
    Description: A high-resolution numerical model, together with in situ and satellite observations, is used to explore the nature and dynamics of the dominant high-frequency (from one day to one week) variability in Denmark Strait. Mooring measurements in the center of the strait reveal that warm water “flooding events” occur, whereby the North Icelandic Irminger Current (NIIC) propagates offshore and advects subtropical-origin water northward through the deepest part of the sill. Two other types of mesoscale processes in Denmark Strait have been described previously in the literature, known as “boluses” and “pulses,” associated with a raising and lowering of the overflow water interface. Our measurements reveal that flooding events occur in conjunction with especially pronounced pulses. The model indicates that the NIIC hydrographic front is maintained by a balance between frontogenesis by the large-scale flow and frontolysis by baroclinic instability. Specifically, the temperature and salinity tendency equations demonstrate that the eddies act to relax the front, while the mean flow acts to sharpen it. Furthermore, the model reveals that the two dense water processes—boluses and pulses (and hence flooding events)—are dynamically related to each other and tied to the meandering of the hydrographic front in the strait. Our study thus provides a general framework for interpreting the short-time-scale variability of Denmark Strait Overflow Water entering the Irminger Sea.
    Description: MAS was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants OCE-1558742 and OCE-1534618. RSP, PL, and DM were supported by NSF under Grants OCE-1558742 and OCE-1259618. WJvA was supported by the Helmholtz Infrastructure Initiative FRAM. TWNH and MA were supported by NSF under Grants OCE-1633124 and OCE-118123.
    Description: 2020-07-01
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Frontogenesis/frontolysis ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Topographic effects
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 855-866, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0194.1.
    Description: Mesoscale eddies shape the Beaufort Gyre response to Ekman pumping, but their transient dynamics are poorly understood. Climate models commonly use the Gent–McWilliams (GM) parameterization, taking the eddy streamfunction to be proportional to an isopycnal slope s and an eddy diffusivity K. This local-in-time parameterization leads to exponential equilibration of currents. Here, an idealized, eddy-resolving Beaufort Gyre model is used to demonstrate that carries a finite memory of past ocean states, violating a key GM assumption. As a consequence, an equilibrating gyre follows a spiral sink trajectory implying the existence of a damped mode of variability—the eddy memory (EM) mode. The EM mode manifests during the spinup as a 15% overshoot in isopycnal slope (2000 km3 freshwater content overshoot) and cannot be explained by the GM parameterization. An improved parameterization is developed, such that is proportional to an effective isopycnal slope , carrying a finite memory γ of past slopes. Introducing eddy memory explains the model results and brings to light an oscillation with a period ≈ 50 yr, where the eddy diffusion time scale TE ~ 10 yr and γ ≈ 6 yr are diagnosed from the eddy-resolving model. The EM mode increases the Ekman-driven gyre variance by γ/TE ≈ 50% ± 15%, a fraction that stays relatively constant despite both time scales decreasing with increased mean forcing. This study suggests that the EM mode is a general property of rotating turbulent flows and highlights the need for better observational constraints on transient eddy field characteristics.
    Description: GEM acknowledges the Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund at Caltech and the Howland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI. MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE- 1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NSF OCE- 1235488.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Parameterization ; Multidecadal variability
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 773-794, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0205.1.
    Description: Fourteen autonomous profiling floats, equipped with CTDs, were deployed in the deep eastern and western basins of the Gulf of Mexico over a four-year interval (July 2011–August 2015), producing a total of 706 casts. This is the first time since the early 1970s that there has been a comprehensive survey of water masses in the deep basins of the Gulf, with better vertical resolution than available from older ship-based surveys. Seven floats had 14-day cycles with parking depths of 1500 m, and the other half from the U.S. Argo program had varying cycle times. Maps of characteristic water masses, including Subtropical Underwater, Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), and North Atlantic Deep Water, showed gradients from east to west, consistent with their sources being within the Loop Current (LC) and the Yucatan Channel waters. Altimeter SSH was used to characterize profiles being in LC or LC eddy water or in cold eddies. The two-layer nature of the deep Gulf shows isotherms being deeper in the warm anticyclonic LC and LC eddies and shallower in the cold cyclones. Mixed layer depths have an average seasonal signal that shows maximum depths (~60 m) in January and a minimum in June–July (~20 m). Basin-mean steric heights from 0–50-m dynamic heights and altimeter SSH show a seasonal range of ~12 cm, with significant interannual variability. The translation of LC eddies across the western basin produces a region of low homogeneous potential vorticity centered over the deepest part of the western basin.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M08PC20043 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2018-10-04
    Keywords: Eddies ; Mixing ; Potential vorticity ; Surface layer ; Water masses
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-06-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 2927-2947, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0083.1.
    Description: Motivated by observations in Hudson shelf valley showing stronger onshore than offshore flows, this study investigates wind-driven flows in idealized shallow shelf valleys. This first part of a two-part sequence focuses on the mechanism of the asymmetrical flow response in a valley to along-shelf winds of opposite directions. Model simulations show that (i) when the wind is in the opposite direction to coastal-trapped wave (CTW) phase propagation, the shelf flow turns onshore in the valley and generates strong up-valley transport and a standing meander on the upstream side (in the sense of CTW phase propagation) of the valley, and (ii) when the wind is in the same direction as CTW phase propagation, the flow forms a symmetric onshore detour pattern over the valley with negligible down-valley transport. Comparison of the modeled upstream meanders in the first scenario with CTW characteristics confirms that the up-valley flow results from CTWs being arrested by the wind-driven shelf flow establishing lee waves. The valley bathymetry generates an initial excessive onshore pressure gradient force that drives the up-valley flow and induces CTW lee waves that sustain the up-valley flow. When the wind-driven shelf flow aligns with CTW phase propagation, the initial disturbance generated in the valley propagates away, allowing the valley flow to adjust to roughly follow isobaths. Because of the similarity in the physical setup, this mechanism of arrested CTWs generating stronger onshore than offshore flow is expected to be applicable to the flow response in slope canyons to along-isobath background flows of opposite directions.
    Description: WGZ and SJL were supported by the National Science Foundation through GrantOCE1154575.WGZ is also supported by the NSF Grant OCE 1634965 and SJL by NSF Grant OCE 1558874.
    Description: 2018-06-08
    Keywords: Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects ; Transport ; Vertical motion ; Waves, oceanic ; Wind stress
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2018-02-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 879-894, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0196.1.
    Description: Models show that surface cooling over a sloping continental shelf should give rise to baroclinic instability and thus tend toward gravitationally stable density stratification. Less is known about how alongshore winds affect this process, so the role of surface momentum input is treated here by means of a sequence of idealized, primitive equation numerical model calculations. The effects of cooling rate, wind amplitude and direction, bottom slope, bottom friction, and rotation rate are all considered. All model runs lead to instability and an eddy field. While instability is not strongly affected by upwelling-favorable alongshore winds, wind-driven downwelling substantially reduces eddy kinetic energy, largely because the downwelling circulation plays a similar role to baroclinic instability by flattening isotherms and so reducing available potential energy. Not surprisingly, cross-shelf winds appear to have little effect. Analysis of the model runs leads to quantitative relations for the wind effect on eddy kinetic energy for the equilibrium density stratification (which increases as the cooling rate increases) and for eddy length scale.
    Description: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Physical Oceanography Program through Grant OCE-1433953.
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Instability
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-10-16
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 883-904, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0084.1.
    Description: The dynamics controlling the along-valley (cross shelf) flow in idealized shallow shelf valleys with small to moderate Burger number are investigated, and analytical scales of the along-valley flows are derived. This paper follows Part I, which shows that along-shelf winds in the opposite direction to coastal-trapped wave propagation (upwelling regime) force a strong up-valley flow caused by the formation of a lee wave. In contrast, along-shelf winds in the other direction (downwelling regime) do not generate a lee wave and consequently force a relatively weak net down-valley flow. The valley flows in both regimes are cyclostrophic with 0(1) Rossby number. A major difference between the two regimes is the along-shelf length scales of the along-valley flows L. In the upwelling regime Ls, depends on the valley width W, and the wavelength lambda(1w) of the coastal-trapped lee wave arrested by the along-shelf flow U-s. In the downwelling regime L depends on the inertial length scale U-s|'f and W-c. The along-valley velocity scale in the upwelling regime, given by V-u approximate to root pi H-c/H-s integral W-c lambda(1w)/2 pi L-x (1+L-x(2)/L-c(2))(-1) e(-(pi Wc)/(lambda 1w),) is based on potential vorticity (PV) conservation and lee-wave dynamics (Hs and H, are the shelf and valley depth scales, respectively, and fis the Coriolis parameter). The velocity scale in the downwelling regime, given by |v(d)| approximate to (H-s/H-s)[1 + (L-x(2)/L-x(2))](-1) fL, is based on PV conservation. The velocity scales are validated by the numerical sensitivity simulations and can be useful for observational studies of along -valley transports. The work provides a framework for investigating cross -shelf transport induced by irregular shelf bathymetry and calls for future studies of this type under realistic environmental conditions and over a broader parameter space.
    Description: Both WGZ and SJL were supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Grant OCE 1154575.WGZis also supported by the NSF Grant OCE 1634965 and SJL by NSF Grant OCE 1558874.
    Description: 2018-10-16
    Keywords: Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects ; Upwelling/downwelling ; Waves, oceanic ; Wind stress ; Ocean models
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-05-07
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 2703-2719, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0245.1.
    Description: A new set of deep float trajectory data collected in the Gulf of Mexico from 2011 to 2015 at 1500- and 2500-m depths is analyzed to describe mesoscale processes, with particular attention paid to the western Gulf. Wavelet analysis is used to identify coherent eddies in the float trajectories, leading to a census of the basinwide coherent eddy population and statistics of the eddies’ kinematic properties. The eddy census reveals a new formation region for anticyclones off the Campeche Escarpment, located northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. These eddies appear to form locally, with no apparent direct connection to the upper layer. Once formed, the eddies drift westward along the northern edge of the Sigsbee Abyssal Gyre, located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico over the abyssal plain. The formation mechanism and upstream sources for the Campeche Escarpment eddies are explored: the observational data suggest that eddy formation may be linked to the collision of a Loop Current eddy with the western boundary of the Gulf. Specifically, the disintegration of a deep dipole traveling under the Loop Current eddy Kraken, caused by the interaction with the northwestern continental slope, may lead to the acceleration of the abyssal gyre and the boundary current in the Bay of Campeche region.
    Description: The authors were supported by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Contract M10PC00112 to Leidos, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.
    Description: 2019-05-07
    Keywords: Abyssal circulation ; Currents ; Eddies ; Mesoscale processes ; Trajectories ; In situ oceanic observations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-06-08
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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 46 (2016): 3599-3621, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0085.1.
    Description: At continental margins, energetic deep-ocean eddies can transport shelf water offshore in filaments that wrap around the eddy. One example is that of Gulf Stream warm-core rings interacting with the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf. The rate at which shelf water is exported in these filaments is a major unknown in regional budgets of volume, heat, and salt. This unknown transport is constrained using a series of idealized primitive equation numerical experiments wherein a surface-intensified anticyclonic eddy interacts with idealized shelf–slope topography. There is no shelfbreak front in these experiments, and shelf water is tracked using a passive tracer. When anticyclones interact with shelf–slope topography, they suffer apparent intrusions of shelf–slope water, resulting in a subsurface maximum in offshore transport. The simulations help construct an approximate model for the filament of exported water that originates inshore of any given isobath. This model is then used to derive an expression for the total volume of shelf–slope water transported by the eddy across that isobath. The transport scales with water depth, radius, and azimuthal velocity scale of the eddy. The resulting expression can be used with satellite-derived eddy properties to estimate approximate real-world transports ignoring the presence of a shelfbreak front. The expression assumes that the eddy’s edge is at the shelf break, a condition not always satisfied by real eddies.
    Description: The research presented here was funded by NSF Grants OCE-1059632 and OCE-1433953. Funding support from the Academic Programs Office, and WHOI is also gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2017-06-08
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Advection ; Dynamics ; Eddies ; Topographic effects
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 1291-1305, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0160.1.
    Description: Along-stream variations in the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) impact heat and tracer transport, regulate interbasin exchange, and influence closure of the overturning circulation. Topography is primarily responsible for generating deviations from zonal-mean properties, mainly through standing meanders associated with regions of high eddy kinetic energy. Here, an idealized channel model is used to explore the spatial distribution of energy exchange and its relationship to eddy geometry, as characterized by both eddy momentum and eddy buoyancy fluxes. Variations in energy exchange properties occur not only between standing meander and quasi-zonal jet regions, but throughout the meander itself. Both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties, as well as the magnitude of energy exchange terms, undergo abrupt changes along the path of the ACC. These transitions are captured by diagnosing eddy fluxes of energy and by adopting the eddy geometry framework. The latter, typically applied to barotropic stability properties, is applied here in the depth–along-stream plane to include information about both barotropic and baroclinic stability properties of the flow. These simulations reveal that eddy momentum fluxes, and thus barotropic instability, play a leading role in the energy budget within a standing meander. This result suggests that baroclinic instability alone cannot capture the dynamics of ACC standing meanders, a challenge for models where eddy fluxes are parameterized.
    Description: The authors all acknowledge support from NSF OCE-1235488. MKY also acknowledges support from the AMS Graduate Student Fellowship.
    Description: 2017-10-12
    Keywords: Southern Ocean ; Channel flows ; Stability ; Topographic effects ; Eddies ; Mesoscale models
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  • 11
    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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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2017-02-19
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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 46 (2016): 2645-2662, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0191.1.
    Description: The occurrence, drivers, and implications of small-scale O(2–5) km diameter coherent vortices, referred to as submesoscale eddies, over the inner shelf south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, are examined using high-frequency (HF), radar-based, high-resolution (400 m) observations of surface currents. Within the 300 km2 study area, eddies occurred at rates of 1 and 4 day−1 in winter and summer, respectively. Most were less than 5 h in duration, smaller than 4 km in diameter, and rotated less than once over their lifespan; 60% of the eddies formed along the eastern edge of study area, adjacent to Wasque Shoal, and moved westward into the interior, often with relative vorticity greater than f. Eddy generation was linked to vortex stretching on the ebb and flood tide as well as the interaction of the spatially variable tide and the wind-driven currents; however, these features had complex patterns of surface divergence and stretching. Eddies located away from Wasque Shoal were related to the movement of wind-driven surface currents, as wind direction controlled where eddies formed as well as density effects. Using an analysis of particles advected within the radar-based surface currents, the observed eddies were found to be generally leaky, losing 60%–80% of particles over their lifespan, but still more retentive than the background flow. As a result, the combined translation and rotational effects of the observed eddies were an important source of lateral exchange for surface waters over the inner shelf.
    Description: The HF radar data utilized here were obtained using internal funding from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The analysis was supported by NSF OCE Grant 1332646.
    Description: 2017-02-19
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Currents ; Eddies ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Radars/Radar observations
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2016-06-30
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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 46 (2016): 1717-1734, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0124.1.
    Description: The contribution of warm-core anticyclones shed by the Irminger Current off West Greenland, known as Irminger rings, to the restratification of the upper layers of the Labrador Sea is investigated in the 1/12° Family of Linked Atlantic Models Experiment (FLAME) model. The model output, covering the 1990–2004 period, shows strong similarities to observations of the Irminger Current as well as ring observations at a mooring located offshore of the eddy formation region in 2007–09. An analysis of fluxes in the model shows that while the majority of heat exchange with the interior indeed occurs at the site of the Irminger Current instability, the contribution of the coherent Irminger rings is modest (18%). Heat is provided to the convective region mainly through noncoherent anomalies and enhanced local mixing by the rings facilitating further exchange between the boundary and interior. The time variability of the eddy kinetic energy and the boundary to interior heat flux in the model are strongly correlated to the density gradient between the dense convective region and the more buoyant boundary current. In FLAME, the density variations of the boundary current are larger than those of the convective region, thereby largely controlling changes in lateral fluxes. Synchronous long-term trends in temperature in the boundary and the interior over the 15-yr simulation suggest that the heat flux relative to the temperature of the interior is largely steady on these time scales.
    Description: The authors were supported in this work by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Anticyclones ; Boundary currents ; Convection ; Eddies ; Fluxes
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2017-04-20
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2016. 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 46 (2016): 3263-3278, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0091.1.
    Description: The halocline of the Beaufort Gyre varies significantly on interannual to decadal time scales, affecting the freshwater content (FWC) of the Arctic Ocean. This study explores the role of eddies in the Ekman-driven gyre variability. Following the transformed Eulerian-mean paradigm, the authors develop a theory that links the FWC variability to the stability of the large-scale gyre, defined as the inverse of its equilibration time. The theory, verified with eddy-resolving numerical simulations, demonstrates that the gyre stability is explicitly controlled by the mesoscale eddy diffusivity. An accurate representation of the halocline dynamics requires the eddy diffusivity of 300 ± 200 m2 s−1, which is lower than what is used in most low-resolution climate models. In particular, on interannual and longer time scales the eddy fluxes and the Ekman pumping provide equally important contributions to the FWC variability. However, only large-scale Ekman pumping patterns can significantly alter the FWC, with spatially localized perturbations being an order of magnitude less efficient. Lastly, the authors introduce a novel FWC tendency diagnostic—the Gyre Index—that can be conveniently calculated using observations located only along the gyre boundaries. Its strong predictive capabilities, assessed in the eddy-resolving model forced by stochastic winds, suggest that the Gyre Index would be of use in interpreting FWC evolution in observations as well as in numerical models.
    Description: GEMacknowledges the support from theHowland Postdoctoral Program Fund at WHOI and the Stanback Fellowship Fund at Caltech.MAS was supported by NSF Grants PLR-1415489 and OCE-1232389. AFT acknowledges support from NASA Award NNN12AA01C.
    Description: 2017-04-20
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Large-scale motions ; Ocean circulation ; Stability
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  • 15
    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
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  • 16
    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
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  • 17
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2016-05-01
    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): 2820–2835, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0101.1.
    Description: The response of a convective ocean basin to variations in atmospheric temperature is explored using numerical models and theory. The results indicate that the general behavior depends strongly on the frequency at which the atmosphere changes relative to the local response time to air–sea heat flux. For high-frequency forcing, the convective region in the basin interior is essentially one-dimensional and responds to the integrated local surface heat flux anomalies. For low-frequency forcing, eddy fluxes from the boundary current into the basin interior become important and act to suppress variability forced by the atmosphere. A theory is developed to quantify this time-dependent response and its influence on various oceanic quantities. The amplitude and phase of the temperature and salinity of the convective water mass, the meridional overturning circulation, the meridional heat flux, and the air–sea heat flux predicted by the theory compare well with that diagnosed from a series of numerical model calculations in both strongly eddying and weakly eddying regimes. Linearized analytic solutions provide direct estimates of each of these quantities and demonstrate their dependence on the nondimensional numbers that characterize the domain and atmospheric forcing. These results highlight the importance of mesoscale eddies in modulating the mean and time-dependent ocean response to atmospheric variability and provide a dynamical framework with which to connect ocean observations with changes in the atmosphere and surface heat flux.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant OCE-1232389.
    Description: 2016-05-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation
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  • 18
    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): 3033–3053, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0227.1.
    Description: The East Greenland Current (EGC) had long been considered the main pathway for the Denmark Strait overflow (DSO). Recent observations, however, indicate that the north Icelandic jet (NIJ), which flows westward along the north coast of Iceland, is a major separate pathway for the DSO. In this study a two-layer numerical model and complementary integral constraints are used to examine various pathways that lead to the DSO and to explore plausible mechanisms for the NIJ’s existence. In these simulations, a westward and NIJ-like current emerges as a robust feature and a main pathway for the Denmark Strait overflow. Its existence can be explained through circulation integrals around advantageous contours. One such constraint spells out the consequences of overflow water as a source of low potential vorticity. A stronger constraint can be added when the outflow occurs through two outlets: it takes the form of a circulation integral around the Iceland–Faroe Ridge. In either case, the direction of overall circulation about the contour can be deduced from the required frictional torques. Some effects of wind stress forcing are also examined. The overall positive curl of the wind forces cyclonic gyres in both layers, enhancing the East Greenland Current. The wind stress forcing weakens but does not eliminate the NIJ. It also modifies the sign of the deep circulation in various subbasins and alters the path by which overflow water is brought to the Faroe Bank Channel, all in ways that bring the idealized model more in line with observations. The sequence of numerical experiments separates the effects of wind and buoyancy forcing and shows how each is important.
    Description: This study has been supported by National Science Foundation (OCE0927017 and ARC1107412).
    Description: 2015-06-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Boundary currents ; Channel flows ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects
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  • 19
    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): 104–132, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0032.1.
    Description: Three mechanisms for self-induced Ekman pumping in the interiors of mesoscale ocean eddies are investigated. The first arises from the surface stress that occurs because of differences between surface wind and ocean velocities, resulting in Ekman upwelling and downwelling in the cores of anticyclones and cyclones, respectively. The second mechanism arises from the interaction of the surface stress with the surface current vorticity gradient, resulting in dipoles of Ekman upwelling and downwelling. The third mechanism arises from eddy-induced spatial variability of sea surface temperature (SST), which generates a curl of the stress and therefore Ekman pumping in regions of crosswind SST gradients. The spatial structures and relative magnitudes of the three contributions to eddy-induced Ekman pumping are investigated by collocating satellite-based measurements of SST, geostrophic velocity, and surface winds to the interiors of eddies identified from their sea surface height signatures. On average, eddy-induced Ekman pumping velocities approach O(10) cm day−1. SST-induced Ekman pumping is usually secondary to the two current-induced mechanisms for Ekman pumping. Notable exceptions are the midlatitude extensions of western boundary currents and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, where SST gradients are strong and all three mechanisms for eddy-induced Ekman pumping are comparable in magnitude. Because the polarity of current-induced curl of the surface stress opposes that of the eddy, the associated Ekman pumping attenuates the eddies. The decay time scale of this attenuation is proportional to the vertical scale of the eddy and inversely proportional to the wind speed. For typical values of these parameters, the decay time scale is about 1.3 yr.
    Description: This work was funded by NASA Grants NNX08AI80G, NNX08AR37G, NNX13AD78G, NNX10AE91G, NNX13AE47G, and NNX10AO98G.
    Description: 2015-07-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping ; Observational techniques and algorithms ; Satellite observations
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2016-12-23
    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): 966–987, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0110.1.
    Description: A key remaining challenge in oceanography is the understanding and parameterization of small-scale mixing. Evidence suggests that topographic features play a significant role in enhancing mixing in the Southern Ocean. This study uses 914 high-resolution hydrographic profiles from novel EM-APEX profiling floats to investigate turbulent mixing north of the Kerguelen Plateau, a major topographic feature in the Southern Ocean. A shear–strain finescale parameterization is applied to estimate diapycnal diffusivity in the upper 1600 m of the ocean. The indirect estimates of mixing match direct microstructure profiler observations made simultaneously. It is found that mixing intensities have strong spatial and temporal variability, ranging from O(10−6) to O(10−3) m2 s−1. This study identifies topographic roughness, current speed, and wind speed as the main factors controlling mixing intensity. Additionally, the authors find strong regional variability in mixing dynamics and enhanced mixing in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current frontal region. This enhanced mixing is attributed to dissipating internal waves generated by the interaction of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the topography of the Kerguelen Plateau. Extending the mixing observations from the Kerguelen region to the entire Southern Ocean, this study infers a large water mass transformation rate of 17 Sverdrups (Sv; 1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) across the boundary of Antarctic Intermediate Water and Upper Circumpolar Deep Water in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This work suggests that the contribution of mixing to the Southern Ocean overturning circulation budget is particularly significant in fronts.
    Description: AM was supported by the joint CSIRO–University of Tasmania Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) program and the 2009 CSIRO Wealth from Ocean Flagship Collaborative Fund. BMS was supported by the Australian Climate Change Science Program, jointly funded by the Department of the Environment and CSIRO. KLPs salary support was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds.
    Description: 2015-10-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Fronts ; Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Mixing
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  • 21
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    American Meteorological Society
    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): 606–612, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0221.1.
    Description: Mesoscale intrathermocline lenses are observed throughout the World Ocean and are commonly attributed to water mass anomalies advected from a distant origin. An alternative mechanism of local generation is offered herein, in which eddy–wind interaction can create lens-shaped disturbances in the thermocline. Numerical simulations illustrate how eddy–wind-driven upwelling in anticyclones can yield a convex lens reminiscent of a mode water eddy, whereas eddy–wind-driven downwelling in cyclones produces a concave lens that thins the mode water layer (a cyclonic “thinny”). Such transformations should be observable with long-term time series in the interiors of mesoscale eddies.
    Description: Support of this research by the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-08-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Ekman pumping/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Models and modeling ; Ocean models ; Primitive equations model
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  • 22
    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): 778–791, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0164.1.
    Description: This study examines anisotropic transport properties of the eddying North Atlantic flow, using an idealized model of the double-gyre oceanic circulation and altimetry-derived velocities. The material transport by the time-dependent flow (quantified by the eddy diffusivity tensor) varies geographically and is anisotropic, that is, it has a well-defined direction of the maximum transport. One component of the time-dependent flow, zonally elongated large-scale transients, is particularly important for the anisotropy, as it corresponds to primarily zonal material transport and long correlation time scales. The importance of these large-scale zonal transients in the material distribution is further confirmed with simulations of idealized color dye tracers, which has implications for parameterizations of the eddy transport in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IK would like to acknowledge support through the NSF Grant OCE-1154923. IR was supported by the NSF OCE-1154641 and NASA Grant NNX14AH29G.
    Description: 2015-09-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Ocean circulation ; Models and modeling ; Tracers
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  • 23
    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): 1735–1756, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0238.1.
    Description: The Lofoten basin of the Nordic Seas is recognized as a crucial component of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic because of the large horizontal extent of Atlantic Water and winter surface buoyancy loss. In this study, hydrographic and current measurements collected from a mooring deployed in the Lofoten basin from July 2010 to September 2012 are used to describe water mass transformation and the mesoscale eddy field. Winter mixed layer depths (MLDs) are observed to reach approximately 400 m, with larger MLDs and denser properties resulting from the colder 2010 winter. A heat budget of the upper water column requires lateral input, which balances the net annual heat loss of ~80 W m−2. The lateral flux is a result of mesoscale eddies, which dominate the velocity variability. Eddy velocities are enhanced in the upper 1000 m, with a barotropic component that reaches the bottom. Detailed examination of two eddies, from April and August 2012, highlights the variability of the eddy field and eddy properties. Temperature and salinity properties of the April eddy suggest that it originated from the slope current but was ventilated by surface fluxes. The properties within the eddy were similar to those of the mode water, indicating that convection within the eddies may make an important contribution to water mass transformation. A rough estimate of eddy flux per unit boundary current length suggests that fluxes in the Lofoten basin are larger than in the Labrador Sea because of the enhanced boundary current–interior density difference.
    Description: The work was supported by NSF OCE 0850416.
    Description: 2015-12-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Boundary currents ; Eddies ; Fluxes ; Mesoscale processes ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Thermohaline circulation
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  • 24
    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): 2598–2620, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0249.1.
    Description: Through combining analytical arguments and numerical models, this study investigates the finite-amplitude meanders of shelfbreak fronts characterized by sloping isopycnals outcropping at both the surface and the shelfbreak bottom. The objective is to provide a formula for the meander length scale that can explain observed frontal length scale variability and also be verified with observations. Considering the frontal instability to be a mixture of barotropic and baroclinic instability, the derived along-shelf meander length scale formula is [b1/(1 + a1S1/2)]NH/f, where N is the buoyancy frequency; H is the depth of the front; f is the Coriolis parameter; S is the Burger number measuring the ratio of energy conversion associated with barotropic and baroclinic instability; and a1 and b1 are empirical constants. Initial growth rate of the frontal instability is formulated as [b2(1 + a1S1/2)/(1 + a2αS1/2)]NH/L, where α is the bottom slope at the foot of the front, and a2 and b2 are empirical constants. The formulas are verified using numerical sensitivity simulations, and fitting of the simulated and formulated results gives a1 = 2.69, b1 = 14.65, a2 = 5.1 × 103, and b2 = 6.2 × 10−2. The numerical simulations also show development of fast-growing frontal symmetric instability when the minimum initial potential vorticity is negative. Although frontal symmetric instability leads to faster development of barotropic and baroclinic instability at later times, it does not significantly influence the meander length scale. The derived meander length scale provides a framework for future studies of the influences of external forces on shelfbreak frontal circulation and cross-frontal exchange.
    Description: WGZ and GGG were supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-1129125.
    Description: 2016-04-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Instability ; Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Fronts ; Models and modeling ; Numerical analysis/modeling
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  • 25
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 1398–1406, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-028.1.
    Description: An adiabatic, inertial, and quasigeostrophic model is used to discuss the interaction of surface Ekman transport with an island. The theory extends the recent work of Spall and Pedlosky to include an analytical and nonlinear model for the interaction. The presence of an island that interrupts a uniform Ekman layer transport raises interesting questions about the resulting circulation. The consequential upwelling around the island can lead to a local intake of fluid from the geostrophic region beneath the Ekman layer or to a more complex flow around the island in which the fluid entering the Ekman layer on one portion of the island's perimeter is replaced by a flow along the island's boundary from a downwelling region located elsewhere on the island. This becomes especially pertinent when the flow is quasigeostrophic and adiabatic. The oncoming geostrophic flow that balances the offshore Ekman flux is largely diverted around the island, and the Ekman flux is fed by a transfer of fluid from the western to the eastern side of the island. As opposed to the linear, dissipative model described earlier, this transfer takes place even in the absence of a topographic skirt around the island. The principal effect of topography in the inertial model is to introduce an asymmetry between the circulation on the northern and southern sides of the island. The quasigeostrophic model allows a simple solution to the model problem with topography and yet the resulting three-dimensional circulation is surprisingly complex with streamlines connecting each side of the island.
    Description: This research was supported in part by NSF Grant OCE Grant 0925061.
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Large-scale motions ; Nonlinear dynamics ; Ocean circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Topographic effects
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  • 26
    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 Climate 27 (2014): 2842–2860, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00227.1.
    Description: Mooring measurements from the Kuroshio Extension System Study (June 2004–June 2006) and from the ongoing Kuroshio Extension Observatory (June 2004–present) are combined with float measurements of the Argo network to study the variability of the North Pacific Subtropical Mode Water (STMW) across the entire gyre, on time scales from days, to seasons, to a decade. The top of the STMW follows a seasonal cycle, although observations reveal that it primarily varies in discrete steps associated with episodic wind events. The variations of the STMW bottom depth are tightly related to the sea surface height (SSH), reflecting mesoscale eddies and large-scale variations of the Kuroshio Extension and recirculation gyre systems. Using the observed relationship between SSH and STMW, gridded SSH products and in situ estimates from floats are used to construct weekly maps of STMW thickness, providing nonbiased estimates of STMW total volume, annual formation and erosion volumes, and seasonal and interannual variability for the past decade. Year-to-year variations are detected, particularly a significant decrease of STMW volume in 2007–10 primarily attributable to a smaller volume formed. Variability of the heat content in the mode water region is dominated by the seasonal cycle and mesoscale eddies; there is only a weak link to STMW on interannual time scales, and no long-term trends in heat content and STMW thickness between 2002 and 2011 are detected. Weak lagged correlations among air–sea fluxes, oceanic heat content, and STMW thickness are found when averaged over the northwestern Pacific recirculation gyre region.
    Description: This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grants OCE-0220161, OCE-0825152, and OCE-0827125).
    Description: 2014-10-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Mesoscale processes ; Mesoscale systems ; Ocean dynamics ; Eddies ; Water masses
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2016-12-30
    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): 2938–2950, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0201.1.
    Description: Direct observations in the Southern Ocean report enhanced internal wave activity and turbulence in a kilometer-thick layer above rough bottom topography collocated with the deep-reaching fronts of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Linear theory, corrected for finite-amplitude topography based on idealized, two-dimensional numerical simulations, has been recently used to estimate the global distribution of internal wave generation by oceanic currents and eddies. The global estimate shows that the topographic wave generation is a significant sink of energy for geostrophic flows and a source of energy for turbulent mixing in the deep ocean. However, comparison with recent observations from the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean shows that the linear theory predictions and idealized two-dimensional simulations grossly overestimate the observed levels of turbulent energy dissipation. This study presents two- and three-dimensional, realistic topography simulations of internal lee-wave generation from a steady flow interacting with topography with parameters typical of Drake Passage. The results demonstrate that internal wave generation at three-dimensional, finite bottom topography is reduced compared to the two-dimensional case. The reduction is primarily associated with finite-amplitude bottom topography effects that suppress vertical motions and thus reduce the amplitude of the internal waves radiated from topography. The implication of these results for the global lee-wave generation is discussed.
    Description: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation under Award CMG-1024198.
    Description: 2015-05-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves ; Mixing ; Mountain waves ; Topographic effects ; Waves, oceanic
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 26 (2013): 9839–9859, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00647.1.
    Description: Spatial and temporal covariability between the atmospheric transient eddy heat fluxes (i.e., υ′T′ and υ′q′) in the Northern Hemisphere winter (January–March) and the paths of the Gulf Stream (GS), Kuroshio Extension (KE), and Oyashio Extension (OE) are examined based on an atmospheric reanalyses and ocean observations for 1979–2009. For the climatological winter mean, the northward heat fluxes by the synoptic (2–8 days) transient eddies exhibit canonical storm tracks with their maxima collocated with the GS and KE/OE. The intraseasonal (8 days–3 months) counterpart, while having overall similar amplitude, shows a spatial pattern with more localized maxima near the major orography and blocking regions. Lateral heat flux divergence by transient eddies as the sum of the two frequency bands exhibits very close coupling with the exact locations of the ocean fronts. Linear regression is used to examine the lead–lag relationship between interannual changes in the northward heat fluxes by the transient eddies and the meridional changes in the paths of the GS, KE, and OE, respectively. One to three years prior to the northward shifts of each ocean front, the atmospheric storm tracks shift northward and intensify, which is consistent with wind-driven changes of the ocean. Following the northward shifts of the ocean fronts, the synoptic storm tracks weaken in all three cases. The zonally integrated northward heat transport by the synoptic transient eddies increases by ~5% of its maximum mean value prior to the northward shift of each ocean front and decreases to a similar amplitude afterward.
    Description: Support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Physical Oceanography Program (NNX09AF35G to TJ and Y-OK) and the Department of Energy (DOE) Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (DE-SC0007052 to Y-OK) is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2014-06-15
    Keywords: Atmosphere-ocean interaction ; Eddies ; Energy transport ; Storm tracks ; Heat budgets/fluxes
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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): 834-849, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0179.1.
    Description: A hydrostatic numerical model with alongshore-uniform barotropic M2 tidal boundary forcing and idealized shelfbreak canyon bathymetries is used to study internal-tide generation and onshore propagation. A control simulation with Mid-Atlantic Bight representative bathymetry is supported by other simulations that serve to identify specific processes. The canyons and adjacent slopes are transcritical in steepness with respect to M2 internal wave characteristics. Although the various canyons are symmetrical in structure, barotropic-to-baroclinic energy conversion rates Cυ are typically asymmetrical within them. The resulting onshore-propagating internal waves are the strongest along beams in the horizontal plane, with the stronger beam in the control simulation lying on the side with higher Cυ. Analysis of the simulation results suggests that the cross-canyon asymmetrical Cυ distributions are caused by multiple-scattering effects on one canyon side slope, because the phase variation in the spatially distributed internal-tide sources, governed by variations in the orientation of the bathymetry gradient vector, allows resonant internal-tide generation. A less complex, semianalytical, modal internal wave propagation model with sources placed along the critical-slope locus (where the M2 internal wave characteristic is tangent to the seabed) and variable source phasing is used to diagnose the physics of the horizontal beams of onshore internal wave radiation. Model analysis explains how the cross-canyon phase and amplitude variations in the locally generated internal tides affect parameters of the internal-tide beams. Under the assumption that strong internal tides on continental shelves evolve to include nonlinear wave trains, the asymmetrical internal-tide generation and beam radiation effects may lead to nonlinear internal waves and enhanced mixing occurring preferentially on one side of shelfbreak canyons, in the absence of other influencing factors.
    Description: All three authors were supported by Office of Naval Research (ONR) Grant N00014-11-1-0701. WGZ was additionally supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant OCE-1154575, and TFD was additionally supported by NSF Grant OCE-1060430.
    Description: 2014-09-01
    Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics ; Baroclinic flows ; Internal waves ; Ocean circulation ; Topographic effects ; Waves, oceanic ; Models and modeling ; Numerical analysis/modeling
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    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): 229–245, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0218.1.
    Description: Data from a mooring deployed at the edge of the East Greenland shelf south of Denmark Strait from September 2007 to October 2008 are analyzed to investigate the processes by which dense water is transferred off the shelf. It is found that water denser than 27.7 kg m−3—as dense as water previously attributed to the adjacent East Greenland Spill Jet—resides near the bottom of the shelf for most of the year with no discernible seasonality. The mean velocity in the central part of the water column is directed along the isobaths, while the deep flow is bottom intensified and veers offshore. Two mechanisms for driving dense spilling events are investigated, one due to offshore forcing and the other associated with wind forcing. Denmark Strait cyclones propagating southward along the continental slope are shown to drive off-shelf flow at their leading edges and are responsible for much of the triggering of individual spilling events. Northerly barrier winds also force spilling. Local winds generate an Ekman downwelling cell. Nonlocal winds also excite spilling, which is hypothesized to be the result of southward-propagating coastally trapped waves, although definitive confirmation is still required. The combined effect of the eddies and barrier winds results in the strongest spilling events, while in the absence of winds a train of eddies causes enhanced spilling.
    Description: The authors wish to thank Paula Fratantoni, Frank Bahr, and Dan Torres for processing the mooring data. The mooring array was capably deployed by the crew of the R/V Arni Fridriksson and recovered by the crew of the R/V Knorr. We thank Hedinn Valdimarsson for his assistance in the field work. Ken Brink provided valuable insights regarding the dynamics of shelf waves. Funding for the study was provided by National Science Foundation Grant OCE-0722694, the Arctic Research Initiative of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We also wish to thank the Natural Environment Research Council for Ph.D. studentship funding, and the University of East Anglia’s Roberts Fund and Royal Meteorological Society for supporting travel for collaboration.
    Description: 2014-07-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Continental shelf/slope ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Upwelling/downwelling ; Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena ; Eddies ; Extreme events ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Air-sea interaction
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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): 2593–2616, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0120.1.
    Description: The first direct estimate of the rate at which geostrophic turbulence mixes tracers across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is presented. The estimate is computed from the spreading of a tracer released upstream of Drake Passage as part of the Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES). The meridional eddy diffusivity, a measure of the rate at which the area of the tracer spreads along an isopycnal across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is 710 ± 260 m2 s−1 at 1500-m depth. The estimate is based on an extrapolation of the tracer-based diffusivity using output from numerical tracers released in a one-twentieth of a degree model simulation of the circulation and turbulence in the Drake Passage region. The model is shown to reproduce the observed spreading rate of the DIMES tracer and suggests that the meridional eddy diffusivity is weak in the upper kilometer of the water column with values below 500 m2 s−1 and peaks at the steering level, near 2 km, where the eddy phase speed is equal to the mean flow speed. These vertical variations are not captured by ocean models presently used for climate studies, but they significantly affect the ventilation of different water masses.
    Description: NSF support through Awards OCE-1233832, OCE-1232962, and OCE-1048926 is gratefully acknowledged.
    Description: 2015-04-01
    Keywords: Geographic location/entity ; Southern Ocean ; Circulation/ Dynamics ; Diffusion ; Eddies ; Ocean circulation ; Turbulence ; Physical Meteorology and Climatology ; Isopycnal mixing
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 905–919, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0150.1.
    Description: Interactions between vortices and a shelfbreak current are investigated, with particular attention to the exchange of waters between the continental shelf and slope. The nonlinear, three-dimensional interaction between an anticyclonic vortex and the shelfbreak current is studied in the laboratory while varying the ratio ε of the maximum azimuthal velocity in the vortex to the maximum alongshelf velocity in the shelfbreak current. Strong interactions between the shelfbreak current and the vortex are observed when ε 〉 1; weak interactions are found when ε 〈 1. When the anticyclonic vortex comes in contact with the shelfbreak front during a strong interaction, a streamer of shelf water is drawn offshore and wraps anticyclonically around the vortex. Measurements of the offshore transport and identification of the particle trajectories in the shelfbreak current drawn offshore from the vortex allow quantification of the fraction of the shelfbreak current that is deflected onto the slope; this fraction increases for increasing values of ε. Experimental results in the laboratory are strikingly similar to results obtained from observations in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB); after proper scaling, measurements of offshore transport and offshore displacement of shelf water for vortices in the MAB that span a range of values of ε agree well with laboratory predictions.
    Description: Laboratory work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE- 0081756. Glider observations in March–April 2006 were supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-0220769. Glider observations in July– October 2007 were supported by a grant from Raytheon. RET was supported by the Postdoctoral Scholar Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with funding provided by the Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region. The REMUS observations were funded by the Office of Naval Research. GGG was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE-1129125 for analysis and writing.
    Description: 2013-11-01
    Keywords: Continental shelf/slope ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Transport ; Laboratory/physical models
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 766–789, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0141.1.
    Description: Nonlinear energy transfers from the semidiurnal internal tide to high-mode, near-diurnal motions are documented near Kaena Ridge, Hawaii, an energetic generation site for the baroclinic tide. Data were collected aboard the Research Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) over a 35-day period during the fall of 2002, as part of the Hawaii Ocean Mixing Experiment (HOME) Nearfield program. Energy transfer terms for a PSI resonant interaction at midlatitude are identified and compared to those for near-inertial PSI close to the M2 critical latitude. Bispectral techniques are used to demonstrate significant energy transfers in the Nearfield, between the low-mode M2 internal tide and subharmonic waves with frequencies near M2/2 and vertical wavelengths of O(120 m). A novel prefilter is used to test the PSI wavenumber resonance condition, which requires the subharmonic waves to propagate in opposite vertical directions. Depth–time maps of the interactions, formed by directly estimating the energy transfer terms, show that energy is transferred predominantly from the tide to subharmonic waves, but numerous reverse energy transfers are also found. A net forward energy transfer rate of 2 × 10−9 W kg−1 is found below 400 m. The suggestion is that the HOME observations of energy transfer from the tide to subharmonic waves represent a first step in the open-ocean energy cascade. Observed PSI transfer rates could account for a small but significant fraction of the turbulent dissipation of the tide within 60 km of Kaena Ridge. Further extrapolation suggests that integrated PSI energy transfers equatorward of the M2 critical latitude may be comparable to PSI energy transfers previously observed near 28.8°N.
    Description: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.
    Description: 2013-10-01
    Keywords: Diapycnal mixing ; Energy transport ; Internal waves ; Nonlinear dynamics ; Topographic effects ; In situ oceanic observations
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 2206–2228, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0191.1.
    Description: This study investigates the anisotropic properties of the eddy-induced material transport in the near-surface North Atlantic from two independent datasets, one simulated from the sea surface height altimetry and one derived from real-ocean surface drifters, and systematically examines the interactions between the mean- and eddy-induced material transport in the region. The Lagrangian particle dispersion, which is widely used to characterize the eddy-induced tracer fluxes, is quantified by constructing the “spreading ellipses.” The analysis consistently demonstrates that this dispersion is spatially inhomogeneous and strongly anisotropic. The spreading is larger and more anisotropic in the subtropical than in the subpolar gyre, and the largest ellipses occur in the Gulf Stream vicinity. Even at times longer than half a year, the spreading exhibits significant nondiffusive behavior in some parts of the domain. The eddies in this study are defined as deviations from the long-term time-mean. The contributions from the climatological annual cycle, interannual, and subannual (shorter than one year) variability are investigated, and the latter is shown to have the strongest effect on the anisotropy of particle spreading. The influence of the mean advection on the eddy-induced particle spreading is investigated using the “eddy-following-full-trajectories” technique and is found to be significant. The role of the Ekman advection is, however, secondary. The pronounced anisotropy of particle dispersion is expected to have important implications for distributing oceanic tracers, and for parameterizing eddy-induced tracer transfer in non-eddy-resolving models.
    Description: IR was supported by Grant NSF-OCE-0725796. IK would like to acknowledge support by the National Science foundation Grant OCE-0842834.
    Description: 2013-06-01
    Keywords: North Atlantic Ocean ; Diffusion ; Dispersion ; Eddies ; Lagrangian circulation/transport ; Trajectories
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 283–300, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0240.1.
    Description: Motivated by the recent interest in ocean energetics, the widespread use of horizontal eddy viscosity in models, and the promise of high horizontal resolution data from the planned wide-swath satellite altimeter, this paper explores the impacts of horizontal eddy viscosity and horizontal grid resolution on geostrophic turbulence, with a particular focus on spectral kinetic energy fluxes Π(K) computed in the isotropic wavenumber (K) domain. The paper utilizes idealized two-layer quasigeostrophic (QG) models, realistic high-resolution ocean general circulation models, and present-generation gridded satellite altimeter data. Adding horizontal eddy viscosity to the QG model results in a forward cascade at smaller scales, in apparent agreement with results from present-generation altimetry. Eddy viscosity is taken to roughly represent coupling of mesoscale eddies to internal waves or to submesoscale eddies. Filtering the output of either the QG or realistic models before computing Π(K) also greatly increases the forward cascade. Such filtering mimics the smoothing inherent in the construction of present-generation gridded altimeter data. It is therefore difficult to say whether the forward cascades seen in present-generation altimeter data are due to real physics (represented here by eddy viscosity) or to insufficient horizontal resolution. The inverse cascade at larger scales remains in the models even after filtering, suggesting that its existence in the models and in altimeter data is robust. However, the magnitude of the inverse cascade is affected by filtering, suggesting that the wide-swath altimeter will allow a more accurate determination of the inverse cascade at larger scales as well as providing important constraints on smaller-scale dynamics.
    Description: BKA received support from Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-11-1-0487, National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants OCE-0924481 and OCE- 09607820, and University of Michigan startup funds. KLP acknowledges support from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds. RBS acknowledges support from NSF grants OCE-0960834 and OCE-0851457, a contract with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and a NASA subcontract to Boston University. JFS and JGR were supported by the projects ‘‘Global and remote littoral forcing in global ocean models’’ and ‘‘Agesotrophic vorticity dynamics of the ocean,’’ respectively, both sponsored by the Office of Naval Research under program element 601153N.
    Description: 2013-08-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Nonlinear dynamics ; Ocean dynamics ; Satellite observations ; Ocean models
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 418–431, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-087.1.
    Description: The overflow of the dense water mass across the Greenland–Scotland Ridge (GSR) from the Nordic Seas drives the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The Nordic Seas is a large basin with an enormous reservoir capacity. The volume of the dense water above the GSR sill depth in the Nordic Seas, according to previous estimates, is sufficient to supply decades of overflow transport. This large capacity buffers overflow’s responses to atmospheric variations and prevents an abrupt shutdown of the AMOC. In this study, the authors use a numerical and an analytical model to show that the effective reservoir capacity of the Nordic Seas is actually much smaller than what was estimated previously. Basin-scale oceanic circulation is nearly geostrophic and its streamlines are basically the same as the isobaths. The vast majority of the dense water is stored inside closed geostrophic contours in the deep basin and thus is not freely available to the overflow. The positive wind stress curl in the Nordic Seas forces a convergence of the dense water toward the deep basin and makes the interior water even more removed from the overflow-feeding boundary current. Eddies generated by the baroclinic instability help transport the interior water mass to the boundary current. But in absence of a robust renewal of deep water, the boundary current weakens rapidly and the eddy-generating mechanism becomes less effective. This study indicates that the Nordic Seas has a relatively small capacity as a dense water reservoir and thus the overflow transport is sensitive to climate changes.
    Description: This study has been supported by National Science Foundation (OCE0927017,ARC1107412).
    Description: 2013-08-01
    Keywords: Bottom currents ; Drainage flow ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Potential vorticity ; Topographic effects
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2016-12-21
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. 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 43 (2013): 1611–1626, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0204.1.
    Description: A new method is proposed for extrapolating subsurface velocity and density fields from sea surface density and sea surface height (SSH). In this, the surface density is linked to the subsurface fields via the surface quasigeostrophic (SQG) formalism, as proposed in several recent papers. The subsurface field is augmented by the addition of the barotropic and first baroclinic modes, whose amplitudes are determined by matching to the sea surface height (pressure), after subtracting the SQG contribution. An additional constraint is that the bottom pressure anomaly vanishes. The method is tested for three regions in the North Atlantic using data from a high-resolution numerical simulation. The decomposition yields strikingly realistic subsurface fields. It is particularly successful in energetic regions like the Gulf Stream extension and at high latitudes where the mixed layer is deep, but it also works in less energetic eastern subtropics. The demonstration highlights the possibility of reconstructing three-dimensional oceanic flows using a combination of satellite fields, for example, sea surface temperature (SST) and SSH, and sparse (or climatological) estimates of the regional depth-resolved density. The method could be further elaborated to integrate additional subsurface information, such as mooring measurements.
    Description: JW and AM were supported by NASA (NNX12AD47G) and NSF (OCE 0928617). JLM was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy under DE-GF0205ER64119. GRF is supported by OCE-0752346 and JHL by NORSEE (Nordic Seas Eddy Exchanges) funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
    Description: 2014-02-01
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Potential vorticity ; Surface pressure ; Surface temperature ; Inverse methods
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  • 38
    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): 2168–2186, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-08.1.
    Description: This paper studies the interaction of an Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)–like wind-driven channel flow with a continental slope and a flat-bottomed bay-shaped shelf near the channel’s southern boundary. Interaction between the model ACC and the topography in the second layer induces local changes of the potential vorticity (PV) flux, which further causes the formation of a first-layer PV front near the base of the topography. Located between the ACC and the first-layer slope, the newly formed PV front is constantly perturbed by the ACC and in turn forces the first-layer slope with its own variability in an intermittent but persistent way. The volume transport of the slope water across the first-layer slope edge is mostly directly driven by eddies and meanders of the new front, and its magnitude is similar to the maximum Ekman transport in the channel. Near the bay’s opening, the effect of the topographic waves, excited by offshore variability, dominates the cross-isobath exchange and induces a mean clockwise shelf circulation. The waves’ propagation is only toward the west and tends to be blocked by the bay’s western boundary in the narrow-shelf region. The ensuing wave–coast interaction amplifies the wave amplitude and the cross-shelf transport. Because the interaction only occurs near the western boundary, the shelf water in the west of the bay is more readily carried offshore than that in the east and the mean shelf circulation is also intensified along the bay’s western boundary.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Physical Oceanography and NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE- 0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Eddies ; Fronts ; Mass fluxes/transport ; Mesoscale processes ; Topographic effects
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  • 39
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. 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 42 (2012): 1684–1700, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0230.1.
    Description: The influences of precipitation on water mass transformation and the strength of the meridional overturning circulation in marginal seas are studied using theoretical and idealized numerical models. Nondimensional equations are developed for the temperature and salinity anomalies of deep convective water masses, making explicit their dependence on both geometric parameters such as basin area, sill depth, and latitude, as well as on the strength of atmospheric forcing. In addition to the properties of the convective water, the theory also predicts the magnitude of precipitation required to shut down deep convection and switch the circulation into the haline mode. High-resolution numerical model calculations compare well with the theory for the properties of the convective water mass, the strength of the meridional overturning circulation, and also the shutdown of deep convection. However, the numerical model also shows that, for precipitation levels that exceed this critical threshold, the circulation retains downwelling and northward heat transport, even in the absence of deep convection.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation underGrantsOCE-0850416, OCE-0959381, andOCE-0859381.
    Description: 2013-04-01
    Keywords: Boundary currents ; Deep convection ; Eddies ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Ocean dynamics ; Stability
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  • 40
    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): 889–910, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4496.1.
    Description: This paper examines interaction between a barotropic point vortex and a steplike topography with a bay-shaped shelf. The interaction is governed by two mechanisms: propagation of topographic Rossby waves and advection by the forcing vortex. Topographic waves are supported by the potential vorticity (PV) jump across the topography and propagate along the step only in one direction, having higher PV on the right. Near one side boundary of the bay, which is in the wave propagation direction and has a narrow shelf, waves are blocked by the boundary, inducing strong out-of-bay transport in the form of detached crests. The wave–boundary interaction as well as out-of-bay transport is strengthened as the minimum shelf width is decreased. The two control mechanisms are related differently in anticyclone- and cyclone-induced interactions. In anticyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in opposite directions by the point vortex and topographic waves; a topographic cyclone forms out of the balance between the two opposing mechanisms and is advected by the forcing vortex into the deep ocean. In cyclone-induced interactions, the PV front deformations are moved in the same direction by the two mechanisms; a topographic cyclone forms out of the wave–boundary interaction but is confined to the coast. Therefore, anticyclonic vortices are more capable of driving water off the topography. The anticyclone-induced transport is enhanced for smaller vortex–step distance or smaller topography when the vortex advection is relatively strong compared to the wave propagation mechanism.
    Description: Y. Zhang acknowledges the support of theMIT-WHOI Joint Programin Physical Oceanography, NSF OCE-9901654 and OCE-0451086. J. Pedlosky acknowledges the support of NSF OCE- 9901654 and OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Transport ; Eddies ; Barotropic flow ; Topographic effects ; Vortices ; Currents ; Potential vorticity ; Rossby waves
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  • 41
    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
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  • 42
    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 Climate 24 (2011): 4844–4858, doi:10.1175/2011JCLI4130.1.
    Description: The factors that determine the heat transport and overturning circulation in marginal seas subject to wind forcing and heat loss to the atmosphere are explored using a combination of a high-resolution ocean circulation model and a simple conceptual model. The study is motivated by the exchange between the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean and the Nordic Seas, a region that is of central importance to the oceanic thermohaline circulation. It is shown that mesoscale eddies formed in the marginal sea play a major role in determining the mean meridional heat transport and meridional overturning circulation across the sill. The balance between the oceanic eddy heat flux and atmospheric cooling, as characterized by a nondimensional number, is shown to be the primary factor in determining the properties of the exchange. Results from a series of eddy-resolving primitive equation model calculations for the meridional heat transport, overturning circulation, density of convective waters, and density of exported waters compare well with predictions from the conceptual model over a wide range of parameter space. Scaling and model results indicate that wind effects are small and the mean exchange is primarily buoyancy forced. These results imply that one must accurately resolve or parameterize eddy fluxes in order to properly represent the mean exchange between the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas, and thus between the Nordic Seas and the atmosphere, in climate models.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-0726339 and OCE-0850416.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Forcing ; Meridional overturning circulation ; Transport ; North Atlantic Ocean ; Seas/gulfs/bays
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. 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 40 (2010): 2679–2695, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4395.1.
    Description: Observations of stratification and currents between June 2007 and March 2009 reveal a strong overflow between 400- and 570-m depth from the Panay Strait into the Sulu Sea. The overflow water is derived from approximately 400 m deep in the South China Sea. Temporal mean velocity is greater than 0.75 m s−1 at 50 m above the 570-m Panay Sill. Empirical orthogonal function analysis of a mooring time series shows that the flow is dominated by the bottom overflow current with little seasonal variance. The overflow does not descend below 1250 m in the Sulu Sea but rather settles above high-salinity deep water derived from the Sulawesi Sea. The mean observed overflow transport at the sill is 0.32 × 106 m3 s−1. The observed transport was used to calculate a bulk diapycnal diffusivity of 4.4 × 10−4 m2 s−1 within the Sulu Sea slab (575–1250 m) ventilated from Panay Strait. Analysis of Froude number variation across the sill shows that the flow is hydraulically controlled. A suitable hydraulic control model shows overflow transport equivalent to the observed overflow. Thorpe-scale estimates show turbulent dissipation rates up to 5 × 10−7 W kg−1 just downstream of the supercritical to subcritical flow transition, suggesting a hydraulic jump downstream of the sill.
    Description: This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-09-1-0582 to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; Grants ONR-13759000 and N00014-09-1-0582 to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Grant ONR-N00014-06-1-0690 to Scripps Institute of Oceanography; and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.
    Keywords: Transport ; Dynamics ; Topographic effects ; Currents ; Empirical orthogonal functions
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. 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 40 (2010): 1075-1086, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4375.1.
    Description: A quasigeostrophic, two-layer model is used to study the baroclinic circulation around a thin, meridionally elongated island. The flow is driven by either buoyancy forcing or wind stress, each of whose structure would produce an antisymmetric double-gyre flow. The ocean bottom is flat. When the island partially straddles the intergyre boundary, fluid from one gyre is forced to flow into the other. The amount of the intergyre flow depends on the island constant, that is, the value of the geostrophic streamfunction on the island in each layer. That constant is calculated in a manner similar to earlier studies and is determined by the average, along the meridional length of the island, of the interior Sverdrup solution just to the east of the island. Explicit solutions are given for both buoyancy and wind-driven flows. The presence of an island of nonzero width requires the determination of the baroclinic streamfunction on the basin’s eastern boundary. The value of the boundary term is proportional to the island’s area. This adds a generally small additional baroclinic intergyre flow. In all cases, the intergyre flow produced by the island is not related to topographic steering of the flow but rather the pressure anomaly on the island as manifested by the barotropic and baroclinic island constants. The vertical structure of the flow around the island is a function of the parameterization of the vertical mixing in the problem and, in particular, the degree to which long baroclinic Rossby waves can traverse the basin before becoming thermally damped.
    Description: This research was supported in part by NSF Grant OCE 0451086.
    Keywords: Gyres ; Baroclinic flows ; Topographic effects ; Streamfunction ; Orographic effects
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 104–120, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3686.1.
    Description: Recent studies have indicated that the North Atlantic Ocean subpolar gyre circulation undergoes significant interannual-to-decadal changes in response to variability in atmospheric forcing. There are also observations, however, suggesting that the southern limb of the subpolar gyre, namely, the eastward-flowing North Atlantic Current (NAC), may be quasi-locked to particular latitudes in the central North Atlantic by fracture zones (gaps) in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This could constrain the current’s ability to respond to variability in forcing. In the present study, subsurface float trajectories at 100–1000 m collected during 1997–99 and satellite-derived surface geostrophic velocities from 1992 to 2006 are used to provide an improved description of the detailed pathways of the NAC over the ridge and their relationship to bathymetry. Both the float and satellite observations indicate that in 1997–99, the northern branch of the NAC was split into two branches as it crossed the ridge, one quasi-locked to the Charlie–Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ; 52°–53°N) and the other to the Faraday Fracture Zone (50°–51°N). The longer satellite time series shows, however, that this pattern did not persist outside the float sampling period and that other branching modes persisted for one or more years, including an approximately 12-month time period in 2002–03 when the strongest eastward flow over the ridge was at 49°N. Schott et al. showed how northward excursions of the NAC can temporarily block the westward flow of the Iceland–Scotland Overflow Water through the CGFZ. From the 13-yr time series of surface geostrophic velocity, it is estimated that such blocking may occur on average 6% of the time, although estimates for any given 12-month period range from 0% to 35%.
    Description: This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grants OCE-9531877 to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and OCE-9906775 to the University of Rhode Island, by the WHOI Summer Student Fellowship Program, and by the Lawrence J. Pratt and Melinda M. Hall Endowed Fund for Interdisciplinary Research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
    Keywords: Currents ; Topographic effects ; Interannual variability ; Forcing ; Gyres
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 1103-1121, doi:10.1175/jpo3041.1.
    Description: The role of mesoscale oceanic eddies is analyzed in a quasigeostrophic coupled ocean–atmosphere model operating at a large Reynolds number. The model dynamics are characterized by decadal variability that involves nonlinear adjustment of the ocean to coherent north–south shifts of the atmosphere. The oceanic eddy effects are diagnosed by the dynamical decomposition method adapted for nonstationary external forcing. The main effects of the eddies are an enhancement of the oceanic eastward jet separating the subpolar and subtropical gyres and a weakening of the gyres. The flow-enhancing effect is due to nonlinear rectification driven by fluctuations of the eddy forcing. This is a nonlocal process involving generation of the eddies by the flow instabilities in the western boundary current and the upstream part of the eastward jet. The eddies are advected by the mean current to the east, where they backscatter into the rectified enhancement of the eastward jet. The gyre-weakening effect, which is due to the time-mean buoyancy component of the eddy forcing, is a result of the baroclinic instability of the westward return currents. The diagnosed eddy forcing is parameterized in a non-eddy-resolving ocean model, as a nonstationary random process, in which the corresponding parameters are derived from the control coupled simulation. The key parameter of the random process—its variance—is related to the large-scale flow baroclinicity index. It is shown that the coupled model with the non-eddy-resolving ocean component and the parameterized eddies correctly simulates climatology and low-frequency variability of the control eddy-resolving coupled solution.
    Description: Funding for this work came from NSF Grants OCE 02-221066 and OCE 03-44094. Additional funding for PB was provided by the U.K. Royal Society Fellowship and by WHOI Grants 27100056 and 52990035.
    Keywords: Ocean dynamics ; Ocean models ; Eddies ; Jets ; Coupled models
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  • 47
    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): 3162-3175, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4239.1.
    Description: This study analyzes anisotropic properties of the material transport by eddies and eddy-driven zonal jets in a general circulation model of the North Atlantic through the analysis of Lagrangian particle trajectories. Spreading rates—defined here as half the rate of change in the particle dispersion—in the zonal direction systematically exceed the meridional rates by an order of magnitude. Area-averaged values for the upper-ocean zonal and meridional spreading rates are approximately 8100 and 1400 m2 s−1, respectively, and in the deep ocean they are 2400 and 200 m2 s−1. The results demonstrate that this anisotropy is mainly due to the action of the transient eddies and not to the shear dispersion associated with the time-mean jets. This property is consistent with the fact that eddies in this study have zonally elongated shapes. With the exception of the upper-ocean subpolar gyre, eddies also cause the superdiffusive zonal spreading, significant variations in the spreading rate in the vertical and meridional directions, and the difference between the westward and eastward spreading.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178, 0749722, and 0842834. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Transport ; Currents ; North Atlantic Ocean
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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): 1361-1379, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4096.1.
    Description: Multiple zonal jets are observed in satellite data–based estimates of oceanic velocities, float measurements, and high-resolution numerical simulations of the ocean circulation. This study makes a step toward understanding the dynamics of these jets in the real ocean by analyzing the vertical structure and dynamical balances within multiple zonal jets simulated in an eddy-resolving primitive equation model of the North Atlantic. In particular, the authors focus on the role of eddy flux convergences (“eddy forcing”) in supporting the buoyancy and relative/potential vorticity (PV) anomalies associated with the jets. The results suggest a central role of baroclinic eddies in the barotropic and baroclinic dynamics of the jets, and significant differences in the effects of eddy forcing between the subtropical and subpolar gyres. Additionally, diabatic potential vorticity sources and sinks, associated with vertical diffusion, are shown to play an important role in supporting the potential vorticity anomalies. The resulting potential vorticity profile does not resemble a “PV staircase”—a distinct meridional structure observed in some idealized studies of geostrophic turbulence.
    Description: Funding for IK was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0346178 and 0749722. Funding for PB was provided by NSF Grants OCE 0344094 and OCE 0725796 and by the research grant from the Newton Trust of the University of Cambridge. For JP the acknowledgement is to NSF OCE-0451086.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Forcing ; Dynamics ; Jets ; North Atlantic Ocean
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  • 49
    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): 1258-1271, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4028.1.
    Description: This paper presents a set of laboratory experiments focused on how a buoyant coastal current flowing over a sloping bottom interacts with a canyon and what controls the separation, if any, of the current from the upstream canyon bend. The results show that the separation of a buoyant coastal current depends on the current width W relative to the radius of curvature of the bathymetry ρc. The flow moved across the mouth of the canyon (i.e., separated) for W/ρc 〉 1, in agreement with previous results. The present study extends previous work by examining both slope-controlled and surface-trapped currents, and using a geometry specific to investigating buoyant current–canyon interaction. The authors find that, although bottom friction is important in setting the position of the buoyant front, the separation process driven by the inertia of the flow could overcome even the strongest bathymetric influence. Application of the laboratory results to the East Greenland Current (EGC), an Arctic-origin buoyant current that is observed to flow in two branches south of Denmark Strait, suggests that the path of the EGC is influenced by the large canyons cutting across the shelf, as the range of W/ρc in the ocean spans those observed in the laboratory. What causes the formation of a two-branched EGC structure downstream of the Kangerdlugssuaq Canyon (68°N, 32°W) is still unclear, but potential mechanisms are discussed.
    Description: This work was partially funded by NSF Grant OCE-0450658. DS also received support from the Academic Programs Office of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, while CC had partial support from NSF OCE-0350891.
    Keywords: Coastal flows ; Buoyancy ; Currents ; Experimental design ; Topographic effects
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  • 50
    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): 387-403, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3934.1.
    Description: Marginal sea overflows and the overlying upper ocean are coupled in the vertical by two distinct mechanisms—by an interfacial mass flux from the upper ocean to the overflow layer that accompanies entrainment and by a divergent eddy flux associated with baroclinic instability. Because both mechanisms tend to be localized in space, the resulting upper ocean circulation can be characterized as a β plume for which the relevant background potential vorticity is set by the slope of the topography, that is, a topographic β plume. The entrainment-driven topographic β plume consists of a single gyre that is aligned along isobaths. The circulation is cyclonic within the upper ocean (water columns are stretched). The transport within one branch of the topographic β plume may exceed the entrainment flux by a factor of 2 or more. Overflows are likely to be baroclinically unstable, especially near the strait. This creates eddy variability in both the upper ocean and overflow layers and a flux of momentum and energy in the vertical. In the time mean, the eddies accompanying baroclinic instability set up a double-gyre circulation in the upper ocean, an eddy-driven topographic β plume. In regions where baroclinic instability is growing, the momentum flux from the overflow into the upper ocean acts as a drag on the overflow and causes the overflow to descend the slope at a steeper angle than what would arise from bottom friction alone. Numerical model experiments suggest that the Faroe Bank Channel overflow should be the most prominent example of an eddy-driven topographic β plume and that the resulting upper-layer transport should be comparable to that of the overflow. The overflow-layer eddies that accompany baroclinic instability are analogous to those observed in moored array data. In contrast, the upper layer of the Mediterranean overflow is likely to be dominated more by an entrainment-driven topographic β plume. The difference arises because entrainment occurs at a much shallower location for the Mediterranean case and the background potential vorticity gradient of the upper ocean is much larger.
    Description: SK’s support during the time of his Ph.D. research in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program was provided by the National Science Foundation through Grant OCE04-24741. JP and JY have also received support from the Climate Process Team on Gravity Current Entrainment, NSF Grant OCE-0611530. JY has also been supported by NSF Grant OCE-0351055.
    Keywords: Baroclinic flows ; Mass fluxes/transport ; Entrainment ; Topographic effects ; Potential vorticity
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. 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 40 (2010): 789-801, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4039.1.
    Description: The issue of internal wave–mesoscale eddy interactions is revisited. Previous observational work identified the mesoscale eddy field as a possible source of internal wave energy. Characterization of the coupling as a viscous process provides a smaller horizontal transfer coefficient than previously obtained, with vh 50 m2 s−1 in contrast to νh 200–400 m2 s−1, and a vertical transfer coefficient bounded away from zero, with νυ + (f2/N2)Kh 2.5 ± 0.3 × 10−3 m2 s−1 in contrast to νυ + (f2/N2)Kh = 0 ± 2 × 10−2 m2 s−1. Current meter data from the Local Dynamics Experiment of the PolyMode field program indicate mesoscale eddy–internal wave coupling through horizontal interactions (i) is a significant sink of eddy energy and (ii) plays an O(1) role in the energy budget of the internal wave field.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Internal waves ; Mesoscale processes
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 2556-2574, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3666.1.
    Description: Vertical profiles of horizontal velocity obtained during the Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment (MODE) provided the first published estimates of the high vertical wavenumber structure of horizontal velocity. The data were interpreted as being representative of the background internal wave field, and thus, despite some evidence of excess downward energy propagation associated with coherent near-inertial features that was interpreted in terms of atmospheric generation, these data provided the basis for a revision to the Garrett and Munk spectral model. These data are reinterpreted through the lens of 30 years of research. Rather than representing the background wave field, atmospheric generation, or even near-inertial wave trapping, the coherent high wavenumber features are characteristic of internal wave capture in a mesoscale strain field. Wave capture represents a generalization of critical layer events for flows lacking the spatial symmetry inherent in a parallel shear flow or isolated vortex.
    Description: Salary support for this analysis was provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution bridge support funds.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean dynamics ; Internal waves ; Ocean variability
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  • 53
    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): 133–145, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3782.1.
    Description: Five ice-tethered profilers (ITPs), deployed between 2004 and 2006, have provided detailed potential temperature θ and salinity S profiles from 21 anticyclonic eddy encounters in the central Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean. The 12–35-m-thick eddies have center depths between 42 and 69 m in the Arctic halocline, and are shallower and less dense than the majority of eddies observed previously in the central Canada Basin. They are characterized by anomalously cold θ and low stratification, and have horizontal scales on the order of, or less than, the Rossby radius of deformation (about 10 km). Maximum azimuthal speeds estimated from dynamic heights (assuming cyclogeostrophic balance) are between 9 and 26 cm s−1, an order of magnitude larger than typical ambient flow speeds in the central basin. Eddy θ–S and potential vorticity properties, as well as horizontal and vertical scales, are consistent with their formation by instability of a surface front at about 80°N that appears in historical CTD and expendable CTD (XCTD) measurements. This would suggest eddy lifetimes longer than 6 months. While the baroclinic instability of boundary currents cannot be ruled out as a generation mechanism, it is less likely since deeper eddies that would originate from the deeper-reaching boundary flows are not observed in the survey region.
    Description: The engineering design work for the ITP was initiated by the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Technology Innovation Program (an internal program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). Prototype development and construction were funded jointly by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Oceanographic Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination Program and Office of Polar Programs (OPP) under Award OCE-0324233. Continued support has been provided by the OPP Arctic Sciences Section under Award ARC-0519899 and internal WHOI funding.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Profilers ; Stability ; Salinity
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  • 54
    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): 1644-1668, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3829.1.
    Description: The mean structure and time-dependent behavior of the shelfbreak jet along the southern Beaufort Sea, and its ability to transport properties into the basin interior via eddies are explored using high-resolution mooring data and an idealized numerical model. The analysis focuses on springtime, when weakly stratified winter-transformed Pacific water is being advected out of the Chukchi Sea. When winds are weak, the observed jet is bottom trapped with a low potential vorticity core and has maximum mean velocities of O(25 cm s−1) and an eastward transport of 0.42 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). Despite the absence of winds, the current is highly time dependent, with relative vorticity and twisting vorticity often important components of the Ertel potential vorticity. An idealized primitive equation model forced by dense, weakly stratified waters flowing off a shelf produces a mean middepth boundary current similar in structure to that observed at the mooring site. The model boundary current is also highly variable, and produces numerous strong, small anticyclonic eddies that transport the shelf water into the basin interior. Analysis of the energy conversion terms in both the mooring data and the numerical model indicates that the eddies are formed via baroclinic instability of the boundary current. The structure of the eddies in the basin interior compares well with observations from drifting ice platforms. The results suggest that eddies shed from the shelfbreak jet contribute significantly to the offshore flux of heat, salt, and other properties, and are likely important for the ventilation of the halocline in the western Arctic Ocean. Interaction with an anticyclonic basin-scale circulation, meant to represent the Beaufort gyre, enhances the offshore transport of shelf water and results in a loss of mass transport from the shelfbreak jet.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs under Grants 0421904 and 035268 (MS), and by the Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-02-1-0317 (RP and PF). Analysis by AJP was supported by the Office of Naval Research under Grant N00014-97-1-0135 and by the National Science Foundation under Grant OPP-9815303.
    Keywords: Arctic ; Eddies ; Transport ; Currents ; Jets
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 1992-2002, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3669.1.
    Description: This paper extends A. Bracco and J. Pedlosky’s investigation of the eddy-formation mechanism in the eastern Labrador Sea by including a more realistic depiction of the boundary current. The quasigeostrophic model consists of a meridional, coastally trapped current with three vertical layers. The current configuration and topographic domain are chosen to match, as closely as possible, the observations of the boundary current and the varying topographic slope along the West Greenland coast. The role played by the bottom-intensified component of the boundary current on the formation of the Labrador Sea Irminger Rings is explored. Consistent with the earlier study, a short, localized bottom-trapped wave is responsible for most of the perturbation energy growth. However, for the instability to occur in the three-layer model, the deepest component of the boundary current must be sufficiently strong, highlighting the importance of the near-bottom flow. The model is able to reproduce important features of the observed vortices in the eastern Labrador Sea, including the polarity, radius, rate of formation, and vertical structure. At the time of formation, the eddies have a surface signature as well as a strong circulation at depth, possibly allowing for the transport of both surface and near-bottom water from the boundary current into the interior basin. This work also supports the idea that changes in the current structure could be responsible for the observed interannual variability in the number of Irminger Rings formed.
    Description: AB is supported by WHOI unrestricted funds, JP by the National Science Foundation OCE 85108600, and RP by 0450658.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Boundary currents ; Quasigeostrophic models ; North Atlantic ; Coastlines
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  • 56
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    American Meteorological Society
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. 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 40 (2010): 2341–2347, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4465.1.
    Description: The mean downwelling in an eddy-resolving model of a convective basin is concentrated near the boundary where eddies are shed from the cyclonic boundary current into the interior. It is suggested that the buoyancy-forced downwelling in the Labrador Sea and the Lofoten Basin is similarly concentrated in analogous eddy formation regions along their eastern boundaries. Use of a transformed Eulerian mean depiction of the density transport reveals the central role eddy fluxes play in maintaining the adiabatic nature of the flow in a nonperiodic region where heat is lost from the boundary current. The vorticity balance in the downwelling region is primarily between stretching of planetary vorticity and eddy flux divergence of relative vorticity, although a narrow viscous boundary layer is ultimately important in closing the regional vorticity budget. This overall balance is similar in some ways to the diffusive–viscous balance represented in previous boundary layer theories, and suggests that the downwelling in convective basins may be properly represented in low-resolution climate models if eddy flux parameterizations are adiabatic, identify localized regions of eddy formations, and allow density to be transported far from the region of eddy formations.
    Description: This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants OCE-0726339 and OCE-0850416.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Convection ; Boundary layer ; Climate models ; Thermohaline circulation ; Vorticity
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    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): 380-399, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3728.1.
    Description: Barotropic to baroclinic conversion and attendant phenomena were recently examined at the Kaena Ridge as an aspect of the Hawaii Ocean Mixing Experiment. Two distinct mixing processes appear to be at work in the waters above the 1100-m-deep ridge crest. At middepths, above 400 m, mixing events resemble their open-ocean counterparts. There is no apparent modulation of mixing rates with the fortnightly cycle, and they are well modeled by standard open-ocean parameterizations. Nearer to the topography, there is quasi-deterministic breaking associated with each baroclinic crest passage. Large-amplitude, small-scale internal waves are triggered by tidal forcing, consistent with lee-wave formation at the ridge break. These waves have vertical wavelengths on the order of 400 m. During spring tides, the waves are nonlinear and exhibit convective instabilities on their leading edge. Dissipation rates exceed those predicted by the open-ocean parameterizations by up to a factor of 100, with the disparity increasing as the seafloor is approached. These observations are based on a set of repeated CTD and microconductivity profiles obtained from the research platform (R/P) Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP), which was trimoored over the southern edge of the ridge crest. Ocean velocity and shear were resolved to a 4-m vertical scale by a suspended Doppler sonar. Dissipation was estimated both by measuring overturn displacements and from microconductivity wavenumber spectra. The methods agreed in water deeper than 200 m, where sensor resolution limitations do not limit the turbulence estimates. At intense mixing sites new phenomena await discovery, and existing parameterizations cannot be expected to apply.
    Description: This work was funded by the National Science Foundation as a component of the Hawaii Ocean Mixing Program. Added support for FLIP was provided by the Office of Naval Research.
    Keywords: Pacific Ocean ; Topographic effects ; Internal waves ; Barotropic flows ; Baroclinic flows
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    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): 1551-1573, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4152.1.
    Description: A conceptually simple model is presented for predicting the amplitude and periodicity of eddies generated by a steady poleward outflow in a 1½-layer β-plane formulation. The prediction model is rooted in linear quasigeostrophic dynamics but is capable of predicting the amplitude of the β plume generated by outflows in the nonlinear range. Oscillations in the plume amplitude are seen to represent a near-zero group velocity response to an adjustment process that can be traced back to linear dynamics. When the plume-amplitude oscillations become large enough so that the coherent β plume is replaced by a robust eddy field, the eddy amplitude is still constrained by the plume-amplitude prediction model. The eddy periodicity remains close to that of the predictable, near-zero group-velocity linear oscillations. Striking similarities between the patterns of variability in the model and observations south of Indonesia’s Lombok Strait suggest that the processes investigated in this study may play an important role in the generation of the observed eddy field of the Indo-Australian Basin.
    Description: This work was completed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution while TS Durland was supported by the Ocean and Climate Change Institute. MA Spall was supported by NSF Grant OCE-0423975 and J Pedlosky by NSF Grant OCE-0451086. TS Durland acknowledges additional report preparation support from NASA Grant NNG05GN98G.
    Keywords: Eddies ; Intraseasonal variability ; Nonlinear models ; Shallow-water equations ; Plumes
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