Observing the Galápagos–EUC interaction : insights and challenges
Karnauskas, Kristopher B.
Busalacchi, Antonio J.
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KeywordAtmosphere-ocean interaction; Currents; In situ observations; Model evaluation/performance; Pacific Ocean; Tropics
Although sustained observations yield a description of the mean equatorial current system from the western Pacific to the eastern terminus of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array, a comprehensive observational dataset suitable for describing the structure and pathways of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) east of 95°W does not exist and therefore climate models are unconstrained in a region that plays a critical role in ocean–atmosphere coupling. Furthermore, ocean models suggest that the interaction between the EUC and the Galápagos Islands (92°W) has a striking effect on the basic state and coupled variability of the tropical Pacific. To this end, the authors interpret historical measurements beginning with those made in conjunction with the discovery of the Pacific EUC in the 1950s, analyze velocity measurements from an equatorial TAO mooring at 85°W, and analyze a new dataset from archived shipboard ADCP measurements. Together, the observations yield a possible composite description of the EUC structure and pathways in the eastern equatorial Pacific that may be useful for model validation and guiding future observation.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. 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 40 (2010): 2768–2777, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4461.1.
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