A note on interior pathways in the meridional overturning circulation
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KeywordAbyssal circulation; Bottom currents; Nonlinear dynamics; Ocean circulation; Ocean dynamics; Potential vorticity
A simple oceanic model is presented for source–sink flow on the β plane to discuss the pathways from source to sink when transport boundary layers have large enough Reynolds numbers to be inertial in their dynamics. A representation of the flow as a Fofonoff gyre, suggested by prior work on inertial boundary layers and eddy-driven circulations in two-dimensional turbulent flows, indicates that even when the source and sink are aligned along the same western boundary the flow must intrude deep into the interior before exiting at the sink. The existence of interior pathways for the flow is thus an intrinsic property of an inertial circulation and is not dependent on particular geographical basin geometry.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2018. 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 48 (2018): 643-646, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-17-0240.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 48 (2018): 643-646
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