The Atlantic Subtropical Cells inferred from observations.

Tuchen, Franz Philip , Lübbecke, Joke F. , Schmidtko, Sunke , Hummels, Rebecca and Böning, Claus W. (2019) The Atlantic Subtropical Cells inferred from observations. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124 (11). pp. 7591-7605. DOI 10.1029/2019JC015396.

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Abstract

The Atlantic Subtropical Cells (STCs) are shallow wind‐driven overturning circulations connecting the tropical upwelling areas to the subtropical subduction regions. In both hemispheres they are characterized by equatorward transport at thermocline level, upwelling at the equator and poleward Ekman transport in the surface layer. This study uses recent data from Argo oats complemented by ship sections at the western boundary as well as reanalysis products to estimate the meridional water mass transports and to investigate the vertical and horizontal structure of the STCs from an observational perspective. The seasonally varying depth of meridional velocity reversal is used as the interface between the surface poleward ow and the thermocline equatorward ow. The latter is bounded by the 26.0 kg m‐3 isopycnal at depth. We find that the thermocline layer convergence is dominated by the southern hemisphere water mass transport (9.0 ±1.1 Sv from the southern hemisphere compared to 2.9 ±1.3 Sv from the northern hemisphere) and that this transport is mostly confined to the western boundary. Compared to the asymmetric convergence at thermocline level, the wind‐driven Ekman divergence in the surface layer is more symmetric, being 20.4 ±3.1 Sv between 10°N and 10°S. The net poleward transports (Ekman minus geostrophy) in the surface layer concur with values derived from reanalysis data (5.5 ±0.8 Sv at 10°S and 6.4 ±1.4 Sv at 10°N). A diapycnal transport of about 4 Sv across the 26.0 kg m‐3 isopycnal is required in order to maintain the mass balance in the STC circulation.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-OD Ocean Dynamics
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2019JC015396
ISSN: 2169-9275
Related URLs:
Projects: SFB754, RACE, SACUS
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 09:26
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 23:38
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48170

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