Greatbatch Richard J.

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Greatbatch
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Richard J.
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  • Article
    Evidence for the maintenance of slowly varying equatorial currents by intraseasonal variability
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-02-09) Greatbatch, Richard J. ; Claus, Martin ; Brandt, Peter ; Matthießen, Jan-Dirk ; Tuchen, Franz Philip ; Ascani, Francois ; Dengler, Marcus ; Toole, John M. ; Roth, Christina ; Farrar, J. Thomas
    Recent evidence from mooring data in the equatorial Atlantic reveals that semiannual and longer time scale ocean current variability is close to being resonant with equatorial basin modes. Here we show that intraseasonal variability, with time scales of tens of days, provides the energy to maintain these resonant basin modes against dissipation. The mechanism is analogous to that by which storm systems in the atmosphere act to maintain the atmospheric jet stream. We demonstrate the mechanism using an idealized model setup that exhibits equatorial deep jets. The results are supported by direct analysis of available mooring data from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean covering a depth range of several thousand meters. The analysis of the mooring data suggests that the same mechanism also helps maintain the seasonal variability.
  • Article
    Annual and semiannual cycle of equatorial Atlantic circulation associated with basin-mode resonance
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-10-05) Brandt, Peter ; Claus, Martin ; Greatbatch, Richard J. ; Kopte, Robert ; Toole, John M. ; Johns, William E. ; Böning, Claus W.
    Seasonal variability of the tropical Atlantic circulation is dominated by the annual cycle, but semiannual variability is also pronounced, despite weak forcing at that period. This study uses multiyear, full-depth velocity measurements from the central equatorial Atlantic to analyze the vertical structure of annual and semiannual variations of zonal velocity. A baroclinic modal decomposition finds that the annual cycle is dominated by the fourth mode and the semiannual cycle is dominated by the second mode. Similar local behavior is found in a high-resolution general circulation model. This simulation reveals that the annual and semiannual cycles of the respective dominant baroclinic modes are associated with characteristic basinwide structures. Using an idealized, linear, reduced-gravity model to simulate the dynamics of individual baroclinic modes, it is shown that the observed circulation variability can be explained by resonant equatorial basin modes. Corollary simulations of the reduced-gravity model with varying basin geometry (i.e., square basin vs realistic coastlines) or forcing (i.e., spatially uniform vs spatially variable wind) show a structural robustness of the simulated basin modes. A main focus of this study is the seasonal variability of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) as identified in recent observational studies. Main characteristics of the observed EUC including seasonal variability of transport, core depth, and maximum core velocity can be explained by the linear superposition of the dominant equatorial basin modes as obtained from the reduced-gravity model.