On the generation and role of eddy variability in the central North Atlantic Ocean: Results from surface drifters satellite altimetry and numerical modelling.

Beckmann, Aike, Böning, Claus W. , Brügge, Bernd and Stammer, Detlef (1994) On the generation and role of eddy variability in the central North Atlantic Ocean: Results from surface drifters satellite altimetry and numerical modelling. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 99 (C10). pp. 20381-20391. DOI 10.1029/94JC01654.

[img]
Preview
Text
Beckman_Böning(1994).pdf - Reprinted Version

Download (6Mb) | Preview

Supplementary data:

Abstract

Sources of near-surface oceanic variability in the central North Atlantic are identified from a combined analysis of climatology, surface drifter, and Geosat altimeter data as well as eddy-resolving math formula and math formula Community Modeling Effort North Atlantic model results. Both observational and numerical methods give a consistent picture of the concentration of mesoscale variability along the mean zonal flow bands. Three areas of high eddy energy can be found in all observational data sets: the North Equatorial Current, the North Atlantic Current, and the Azores Current. With increasing horizontal resolution the numerical models give a more realistic representation of the variability in the first two regimes, while no improvement is found with respect to the Azores Current Frontal Zone. Examination of the upper ocean hydrographic structure indicates baroclinic instability to be the main mechanism of eddy generation and suggests that the model deficiencies in the Azores Current area are related to deficiencies in the mean hydrographic fields. A linear instability analysis of the numerical model output reveals that instability based on the velocity shear between the mixed layer and the interior is also important for the generation of the mid-ocean variability, indicating a potential role of the mixed layer representation for the model. The math formula model successfully simulates the northward decrease of eddy length scales observed in the altimeter data, which follow a linear relationship with the first baroclinic Rossby radius. An analysis of the eddy-mean flow interaction terms and the energy budget indicates a release of mean potential energy by downgradient fluxes of heat in the main frontal zones. At the same time the North Atlantic Current is found to be supported by convergent eddy fluxes of zonal momentum.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Eddies and Mesoscale Processes; General Circulation; Numerical Modeling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/94JC01654
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: SFB133
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 11:51
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/5400

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...