How does Labrador Sea Water enter the deep western boundary current?
MetadataShow full item record
Labrador Sea Water (LSW), a dense water mass formed by convection in the subpolar North Atlantic, is an important constituent of the meridional overturning circulation. Understanding how the water mass enters the deep western boundary current (DWBC), one of the primary pathways by which it exits the subpolar gyre, can shed light on the continuity between climate conditions in the formation region and their downstream signal. Using the trajectories of (profiling) autonomous Lagrangian circulation explorer [(P)ALACE] floats, operating between 1996 and 2002, three processes are evaluated for their role in the entry of Labrador Sea Water in the DWBC: 1) LSW is formed directly in the DWBC, 2) eddies flux LSW laterally from the interior Labrador Sea to the DWBC, and 3) a horizontally divergent mean flow advects LSW from the interior to the DWBC. A comparison of the heat flux associated with each of these three mechanisms suggests that all three contribute to the transformation of the boundary current as it transits the Labrador Sea. The formation of LSW directly in the DWBC and the eddy heat flux between the interior Labrador Sea and the DWBC may play leading roles in setting the interannual variability of the exported water mass.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2008. 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 38 (2008): 968-983, doi:10.1175/2007JPO3807.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 38 (2008): 968-983
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Abyssal circulation driven by near-boundary mixing: water mass transformations and interior stratification Drake, Henri F.; Ferrari, Raffaele; Callies, Joern (American Meteorological Society, 2020-07-24)The emerging view of the abyssal circulation is that it is associated with bottom-enhanced mixing, which results in downwelling in the stratified ocean interior and upwelling in a bottom boundary layer along the insulating ...
Spreading of Denmark Strait overflow water in the western subpolar North Atlantic : insights from eddy-resolving simulations with a passive tracer Xu, Xiaobiao; Rhines, Peter B.; Chassignet, Eric P.; Schmitz, William J. (American Meteorological Society, 2015-12)The oceanic deep circulation is shared between concentrated deep western boundary currents (DWBCs) and broader interior pathways, a process that is sensitive to seafloor topography. This study investigates the spreading ...
Richards, Clark G.; Straneo, Fiamma (American Meteorological Society, 2015-06)The Lofoten basin of the Nordic Seas is recognized as a crucial component of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic because of the large horizontal extent of Atlantic Water and winter surface buoyancy ...