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dc.contributor.authorYoungs, Madeleine K.  Concept link
dc.date.accessioned2020-08-27T14:34:14Z
dc.date.available2020-08-27T14:34:14Z
dc.date.issued2020-09
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/1912/26126
dc.descriptionSubmitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2020.en_US
dc.description.abstractOver the last 20 years, our understanding of the meridional overturning circulation has improved, but primarily in a two-dimensional, zonally-averaged framework. In this thesis, I have pushed beyond this simplification and shown that the additional complexity of meanders, storm tracks, and other zonal asymmetries is necessary to reproduce the lowest-order behavior of the overturning circulation. First I examined the role of basin width for determining whether the Atlantic or Pacific oceans experience deep convection. I used a two layered model and a rectangular single-basin model to show that the basin width, in combination with scalings for the overturning circulation make the overturning relatively weaker in the wider basin, priming it for a convection shut down. In addition to this large-scale work, I have examined Southern Ocean-like meanders using a hierarchy of idealized models to understand the role of bottom topography in determining how the large-scale circulation responds to climate change scenarios. These are useful because they preserve the lowest-order behavior, while remaining simple enough to understand. I tested the response of the stratification and transport in the Southern Ocean to changes in wind using a highly-idealized two-layer quasi-geostrophic model. In addition to showing that meanders are necessary to reproduce the behavior of the Southern Ocean, I found that strong winds concentrate the baroclinic and barotropic instabilities downstream of the bottom topography and weaken the instabilities elsewhere due to a form-drag process. With weak winds, however, the system is essentially symmetric in longitude, like a flat-bottomed ocean. This result is consistent with observations of elevated turbulence downstream of major topography in the Southern Ocean. My next study investigated a more realistic Southern Ocean-like channel, with and without bottom topography, and examined the three-dimensional circulation in order to understand where vertical transport occurs and develop a picture of the pathways taken by each individual water parcel. I found that the vertical transport happens in very isolated locations, just downstream of topography. Finally, I added a biogeochemical model to my simulations and found that carbon fluxes are enhanced near topography, again highlighting the role of zonal asymmetries.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipI have been funded by the American Meteorological Society’s Graduate Fellowship, as well as the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. I have also been supported by NSF OCE-1536515 and NCAR Large Scale Computing Award UMIT0025.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutionen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesWHOI Thesesen_US
dc.titleResidual overturning circulation and its connection to Southern Ocean dynamicsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1575/1912/26126
dc.contributer.editorSouthern Ocean
dc.contributer.editoroverturning
dc.contributer.editoreddies


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