Surface cooling, winds, and eddies over the continental shelf
Brink, Kenneth H.
MetadataShow full item record
Models show that surface cooling over a sloping continental shelf should give rise to baroclinic instability and thus tend toward gravitationally stable density stratification. Less is known about how alongshore winds affect this process, so the role of surface momentum input is treated here by means of a sequence of idealized, primitive equation numerical model calculations. The effects of cooling rate, wind amplitude and direction, bottom slope, bottom friction, and rotation rate are all considered. All model runs lead to instability and an eddy field. While instability is not strongly affected by upwelling-favorable alongshore winds, wind-driven downwelling substantially reduces eddy kinetic energy, largely because the downwelling circulation plays a similar role to baroclinic instability by flattening isotherms and so reducing available potential energy. Not surprisingly, cross-shelf winds appear to have little effect. Analysis of the model runs leads to quantitative relations for the wind effect on eddy kinetic energy for the equilibrium density stratification (which increases as the cooling rate increases) and for eddy length scale.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. 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 47 (2017): 879-894, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0196.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Physical Oceanography 47 (2017): 879-894
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Fewings, Melanie R.; Lentz, Steven J.; Fredericks, Janet J. (American Meteorological Society, 2008-11)Six-yr-long time series of winds, waves, and water velocity from a cabled coastal observatory in 12 m of water reveal the separate dependence of the cross-shelf velocity profile on cross-shelf and along-shelf winds, waves, ...
Flagg, Charles Noel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1977-04)A 37 day long field program was carried out in March 1974 on the New England continental shelf break to study the current and hydrographic structure and variability on the shelf and in the shelf/slope front. A second ...
The effect of stratification on wind-driven, cross-shelf circulation and transport on the inner continental shelf Horwitz, Rachel M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2012-06)Observations from a three-year field program on the inner shelf south of Martha's Vineyard, MA and a numerical model are used to describe the effect of stratification on inner shelf circulation, transport, and sediment ...