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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-08-19
    Description: Oceanic eddies are an important component in preconditioning the central Labrador Sea (LS) for deep convection and in restratifying the convected water. This study investigates the different sources and impacts of Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) and its temporal variability in the LS with the help of a 52-year long hindcast simulation of a 1/20° ocean model. Irminger Rings (IR) are generated in the West Greenland Current (WGC) between 60 and 62°N, mainly affect preconditioning and limit the northward extent of the convection area. The IR exhibit a seasonal cycle and decadal variations linked to the WGC strength, varying with the circulation of the subpolar gyre. The mean and temporal variations of IR generation can be attributed to changes in deep ocean baroclinic and upper ocean barotropic instabilities at comparable magnitudes. The main source of EKE and restratification in the central LS are Convective Eddies (CE). They are generated by baroclinic instabilities near the bottom of the mixed layer during and after convection. The CE have a mid-depth core and reflect the hydrographic properties of the convected water mass with a distinct minimum in potential vorticity. Their seasonal to decadal variability is tightly connected to the local atmospheric forcing and the associated air-sea heat fluxes. A third class of eddies in the LS are the Boundary Current Eddies shed from the Labrador Current (LC). Since they are mostly confined to the vicinity of the LC, these eddies appear to exert only minor influence on preconditioning and restratification.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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