Pena-Molino Beatriz

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  • Article
    Variability in the Slope Water and its relation to the Gulf Stream path
    (American Geophysical Union, 2008-02-06) Pena-Molino, Beatriz ; Joyce, Terrence M.
    Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Sea Surface Height (SSH) data for 1993–2007 for the North Atlantic are combined with hydrographic data at 69W to investigate the relation between the Gulf Stream (GS) position and the Slope Water properties. SST anomalies north of the GS are correlated with changes in its path. The lag of this correlation is such that positive temperature anomalies precede northward shifts of the GS, and suggests that SST anomalies move westward with speeds of several cm/s. EOF analysis of the SST and SSH fields shows that cooling and strengthening of the SW flow are in phase over the Slope Water, which is mirrored in the vertical structure of these fields at 69W, indicating larger transports in the Deep Western Boundary Current lead to southward shifts of the mean GS path. This relation between the Slope Water and the GS path provides some predictability for the latter.
  • Article
    Variability in the Deep Western Boundary Current : local versus remote forcing
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-12-22) Pena-Molino, Beatriz ; Joyce, Terrence M. ; Toole, John M.
    Horizontal velocity, temperature and salinity measurements from the Line W array for the period 2004–2008 show large changes in the water mass structure and circulation of the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). Fluctuations in the flow with periods from 10 to 60 days are bottom intensified: signals most likely associated with topographic Rossby waves (TRW). A fraction (∼15%) of the DWBC transport variability is caused by Gulf Stream rings and meanders. These flow anomalies are surface intensified and fluctuate at frequencies lower than the TRW. Interannual variability in the velocity field appears to be related to changes in the hydrographic properties. The dominant mode of variability is characterized by an overall freshening, cooling, a potential vorticity (PV) increase in the deep Labrador Sea Water (dLSW) and a PV decrease in the Overflow Water (OW). The variability in the flow associated with these property changes is not spatially homogeneous. Offshore (water depths larger than 3500 m) changes in the velocity are in phase with PV changes in the OW: a decrease in the OW PV is accompanied by an increase in the southward (negative) transport. Conversely, variations of the inshore flow are in phase with changes in the dLSW PV (increasing PV and decreasing transport). This trend, true for most of the record, reverses after the winter of 2007–2008. A sudden decrease of the dLSW PV is observed, with a corresponding intensification of the flow in the inner DWBC as well as a northward shift in the Gulf Stream axis.