Effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on the circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea.

Lehmann, Andreas, Krauß, Wolfgang and Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald (2001) Effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on the circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea. Open Access Tellus A: Dynamic meteorology and oceanography, 54 (3). pp. 299-316. DOI 10.1034/j.1600-0870.2002.00289.x.

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Abstract

Due to the ephemeral nature of the atmospheric conditions over the Baltic Sea, the flow field is highly variable, and thus, changes in the resulting circulation and upwelling are difficult to observe. However, three-dimensional models, forced by realistic atmospheric conditions and river runoff, have reached such a state of accuracy that the highly fluctuating current field and the associated evolution of the temperature and salinity field can be described. In this work, effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea are investigated. Changes in the characteristics of the large-scale atmospheric wind field over the central and eastern North Atlantic can be described by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO is related to the strength and geographical position of weather systems as they cross the North Atlantic and thus has a direct impact on the climate in Europe. To relate the local wind field over the Baltic Sea to the large-scale atmospheric circulation, we defined a Baltic Sea Index (BSI), which is the difference of normalised sea level pressures between Oslo in Norway and Szczecin in Poland. The NAO is significantly related to the BSI. Furthermore, the BSI is highly correlated with the storage variation of the Baltic Sea and the volume exchange through the Danish Sounds. Based on three-dimensional model calculations, it is shown that different phases of the NAO during winter result in major changes of horizontal transports in the deep basins of the Baltic Sea and in upwelling along the coasts as well as in the interior of the basins. During NAO+ phases, strong Ekman currents are produced with increased up- and downwelling along the coasts and associated coastal jets, whereas during NAO− phases, Ekman drift and upwelling are strongly reduced, and the flow field can almost entirely be described by the barotropic stream function. The general nature of the mean circulation in the deep basins of the Baltic Sea, obtained from a 10-yr model run, can be described by the depth integrated vorticity balance derived from the transport equation for variable depth.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Atmospheric conditions, Baltic Sea, circulation, upwelling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.2002.00289.x
ISSN: 1600-0870
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:50
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/8411

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