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Laboratory experiments on the interaction of a buoyant coastal current with a canyon : application to the East Greenland Current

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dc.contributor.author Sutherland, David A.
dc.contributor.author Cenedese, Claudia
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-26T18:25:22Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-26T18:25:22Z
dc.date.issued 2009-05
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 1258-1271 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4005
dc.description Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. 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 39 (2009): 1258-1271, doi:10.1175/2008JPO4028.1. en_US
dc.description.abstract This paper presents a set of laboratory experiments focused on how a buoyant coastal current flowing over a sloping bottom interacts with a canyon and what controls the separation, if any, of the current from the upstream canyon bend. The results show that the separation of a buoyant coastal current depends on the current width W relative to the radius of curvature of the bathymetry ρc. The flow moved across the mouth of the canyon (i.e., separated) for W/ρc > 1, in agreement with previous results. The present study extends previous work by examining both slope-controlled and surface-trapped currents, and using a geometry specific to investigating buoyant current–canyon interaction. The authors find that, although bottom friction is important in setting the position of the buoyant front, the separation process driven by the inertia of the flow could overcome even the strongest bathymetric influence. Application of the laboratory results to the East Greenland Current (EGC), an Arctic-origin buoyant current that is observed to flow in two branches south of Denmark Strait, suggests that the path of the EGC is influenced by the large canyons cutting across the shelf, as the range of W/ρc in the ocean spans those observed in the laboratory. What causes the formation of a two-branched EGC structure downstream of the Kangerdlugssuaq Canyon (68°N, 32°W) is still unclear, but potential mechanisms are discussed. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was partially funded by NSF Grant OCE-0450658. DS also received support from the Academic Programs Office of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, while CC had partial support from NSF OCE-0350891. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2008JPO4028.1
dc.subject Coastal flows en_US
dc.subject Buoyancy en_US
dc.subject Currents en_US
dc.subject Experimental design en_US
dc.subject Topographic effects en_US
dc.title Laboratory experiments on the interaction of a buoyant coastal current with a canyon : application to the East Greenland Current en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1175/2008JPO4028.1


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