Deciphering the pathways for the deep limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation.

Gary, Stefan F., Lozier, S. M., Böning, Claus W. and Biastoch, Arne (2011) Deciphering the pathways for the deep limb of the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58 (17-18). pp. 1781-1797. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.059.

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Abstract

For the past 50 years it has been assumed that the principal pathway for the deep limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). However, recent observations of Lagrangian floats have shown that the DWBC is not necessarily a unique, dominant, or continuous pathway for these deep waters. A significant portion of the deep water export from the subpolar to the subtropical gyres follows a pathway through the interior of the Newfoundland and subtropical basins, which is constrained by the western boundary and the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The hypothesis that deep eddy-driven recirculation gyres are a mechanism for partitioning the deep limb of the AMOC into the DWBC and this interior pathway is investigated here. Eulerian and Lagrangian analyses of the output of ocean general circulation models at eddy-resolving, eddy-permitting, and non-eddy permitting resolutions are used to test this hypothesis. Eddy-driven recirculation gyres, simulated in the eddy-resolving and eddy-permitting models and similar to recirculations inferred from hydrographic data, are shown to shape the export pathways of deep water from the subpolar to the subtropical gyres.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; Abyssal circulation; Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; Lagrangian current measurement; Eddy flux; Gyres; Deep Western Boundary Current
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.059
ISSN: 0967-0645
Projects: Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 24 May 2011 12:08
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 07:19
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/11874

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