Seasonal transport variation in the western subtropical North Atlantic: Experiments with an eddy resolving model.

Böning, Claus W. , Döscher, Ralf and Budich, R. G. (1991) Seasonal transport variation in the western subtropical North Atlantic: Experiments with an eddy resolving model. Open Access Journal of Physical Oceanography, 21 . pp. 1271-1289. DOI 10.1175/1520-0485(1991)021<1271:STVITW>2.0.CO;2.

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A high-resolution model of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulation in the North and equatorial Atlantic Ocean is used to study the structure and variability of the boundary current system at 26°N, including the Florida Current, the Antilles Current, and the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). The model was developed by Bryan and Holland as a Community Modeling Effort of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment. Subsequent experiments have been performed at IfM Kiel, with different friction coefficients, and different climatologies of monthly mean wind stress: Hellerman–Rosenstein (HR) and Isemer–Hasse (IH). The southward volume transports in the upper 1000 m of the interior Atlantic, at 26°N, are 25.0 Sv (Sv ≡ 106m3s−1) for HR, and 34.9 Sv for IH forcing, in good agreement with the transport from the integrated Sverdrup balance at this latitude (23.9 Sv for HR, 35.6 Sv for IH). The return flow of this wind-driven transport, plus the southward transport of the DWBC (6–8 Sv), is partitioned between the Florida Current and Antilles Current. With HR forcing, the transport through the Straits of Florida is 23.2 Sv; this increases to 29.1 Sv when the wind stresses of IH are used. The annual variation of the simulated Florida Current is very similar to previous, coarse-resolution models when using the same wind-stress climatology (HR); the annual range (3.4 Sv) obtained with HR forcing is strongly enhanced (6.3 Sv) with IH forcing. The meridional heat transport at 26°N, zonally integrated across the basin, is in phase with the Florida Current; its annual range increases from 0.44 PW (HR) to 0.80 PW (IH). The annual signal east of the Bahamas is masked by strong transport fluctuations on a time scale of O(100 days), caused by an instability of the Antilles Current. By averaging over several model years, an annual cycle is extracted, which is in phase with the wind stress curl over the western part of the basin.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Seasonal transport, Variation, Western, Subtropical, North Atlantic, Experiments, Eddy resolving model
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1175/1520-0485(1991)021<1271:STVITW>2.0.CO;2
ISSN: 0022-3670
Projects: SFB133
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2020 09:58

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