Simulations of a Line W-based observing system for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

Fischer, Matthias, Biastoch, Arne , Behrens, Erik and Baehr, Johanna (2013) Simulations of a Line W-based observing system for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Ocean Dynamics, 63 (8). pp. 865-880. DOI 10.1007/s10236-013-0632-2.

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In a series of observing system simulations, we test whether the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) can be observed based on the existing Line W deep western boundary array. We simulate a Line W array, which is extended to the surface and to the east to cover the basin to the Bermuda Rise. In the analyzed ocean circulation model ORCA025, such an extended Line W array captures the main characteristics of the western boundary current. Potential trans-basin observing systems for the AMOC are tested by combining the extended Line W array with a mid-ocean transport estimate obtained from thermal wind "measurements" and Ekman transport to the total AMOC (similarly to Hirschi et al., Geophys Res Lett 30(7):1413, 2003). First, we close Line W zonally supplementing the western boundary array with several "moorings" in the basin (Line W-32A degrees N). Second, we supplement the western boundary array with a combination of observations at Bermuda and the eastern part of the RAPID array at 26A degrees N (Line W-B-RAPID). Both, a small number of density profiles across the basin and also only sampling the eastern and western boundary, capture the variability of the AMOC at Line W-32A degrees N and Line W-B-RAPID. In the analyzed model, the AMOC variability at both Line W-32A degrees N and Line W-B-RAPID is dominated by the western boundary current variability. Away from the western boundary, the mid-ocean transport (east of Bermuda) shows no significant relation between the two Line W-based sections and 26A degrees N. Hence, a Line W-based AMOC estimate could yield an estimate of the meridional transport that is independent of the 26A degrees N RAPID estimate. The model-based observing system simulations presented here provide support for the use of Line W as a cornerstone for a trans-basin AMOC observing system.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/212643
Keywords: Atlantic meridional overturning circulation; Observing system simulations; Line W; RAPID
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Springer
Projects: RACE, CliSAP, THOR, RAPID-WATCH MOC, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 11:16
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 20:46

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