Potential vorticity constraint on the flow between two basins
MetadataShow full item record
This paper examines the role of potential vorticity (PV) balance in source- and sink-driven flows between two basins. As shown in previous studies, PV advection into a basin, say a positive PV advection, requires a negative frictional torque to maintain a steady PV balance. This sense of torque may be provided by a cyclonic boundary current within the basin. The PV advection through a channel is due almost entirely to advection of planetary PV, f/H, where f is the Coriolis parameter and H is the column thickness. Therefore a localized change of depth, and thus H in the channel, directly affects the PV transport and will result in a basinwide change of the circulation pattern. For example, if the channel depth is made shallower while holding the transport fixed, the PV advection is then increased and the result may be a strong recirculation within the basin, as much as two orders of magnitude greater than the transport through the channel. When the basins are connected by two channels at different latitudes or with different sill depths, the throughflow is found to be divided between the two channels in a way that satisfies the integral constraint for flow around an island. The partition of the flow between two channels appears to be such as to minimize the net frictional torque. In still another set of experiments, the large-scale pressure difference (layer thickness) between the basins is specified and held fixed, while the throughflow is allowed to vary in response to changes in the frictional torque. The interbasin transport is strongly influenced by the length of the boundary or the magnitude of the viscosity in the sense that a greater PV frictional torque allows a greater PV transport and vice versa. This result is counterintuitive, if it is assumed that the throughflow is determined by viscous drag within the channel but is a straightforward consequence of the basin-scale PV balance. Thus, the important frictional effect in these experiments is on the basin-scale flow and not on the channel scale.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography. 37 (2007): 2251-2266, doi:10.1175/jpo3116.1.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Wardle, Richard M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1999-02)This thesis addresses the parameterization of the heat and momentum transporting properties of eddy motions for use in three-dimensional, primitive equation, z-coordinate atmosphere and ocean models. Determining the ...
Hall, Melinda M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1985-02)From October, 1982 to October, 1983 a current meter mooring reaching from the bottom into the thermocline was deployed for the first time in the Gulf Stream at 68°W. The temperatures, pressures, and velocities at the ...
Whitehead, John A. (American Geophysical Union, 2005-07-16)Mathematical solutions for constant potential vorticity critically controlled flow through ocean passages are complicated and not available in simple form. Therefore, to provide formulas for numerical circulation and ocean ...