Factors influencing the meridional width of the equatorial deep jets.

Bastin, Swantje , Claus, Martin , Greatbatch, Richard John and Brandt, Peter (2023) Factors influencing the meridional width of the equatorial deep jets. Open Access Ocean Science, 19 (3). pp. 923-939. DOI 10.5194/os-19-923-2023.

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Equatorial deep jets (EDJs) are vertically alternating, stacked zonal currents that flow along the Equator in all three ocean basins at intermediate depth. Their structure can be described quite well by the sum of high-baroclinic-mode equatorial Kelvin and Rossby waves. However, the EDJ meridional width is larger by a factor of 1.5 than inviscid theory predicts for such waves. Here, we use a set of idealised model configurations representing the Atlantic Ocean to investigate the contributions of different processes to the enhanced EDJ width. Corroborated by the analysis of shipboard velocity sections, we show that widening of the EDJs by momentum loss due to irreversible mixing or other processes contributes more to their enhanced time mean width than averaging over meandering of the jets. Most of the widening due to meandering can be attributed to the strength of intraseasonal variability in the jets' depth range, suggesting that the jets are meridionally advected by intraseasonal waves. A slightly weaker connection to intraseasonal variability is found for the EDJ widening by momentum loss. These results enhance our understanding of the dynamics of the EDJs and, more generally, of equatorial waves in the deep ocean.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Equatorial Deep Jets (EDJ)
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-OD Ocean Dynamics
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Main POF Topic: PT2: Ocean and Cryosphere
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Copernicus Publications (EGU)
Related URLs:
Projects: SFB754
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2023 12:59
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 15:40
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/57811

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