Circulation in upper layers of southern North Atlantic deduced with use of isentropic analysis
Montgomery, Raymond B.
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Except for the presence in most localities of a shallow homogeneous surface layer and of a relatively homogeneous and deeper bottom layer, the oceans of the temperate and tropical regions are stratified and vertically stable at all depths. Due to the opacity of water for long-wave radiation and to the damping of vertical turbulence by the stability, there is no potent mechanism for altering the potential density of any water element below the layer of direct surface influences. Hence there can be no flow of major proportions across surfaces of constant potential density. For these reasons it is now generally accepted that flow takes place essentially parallel to these surfaces. It follows that the major sources for the water on each surface of constant potential density are to be found along its intersection with the sea surface in higher latitudes.
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