Coherence of western boundary pressure at the RAPID WAVE array: Boundary wave adjustments or deep western boundary current advection?

Shane Elipot, Chris Hughes, Sofia Olhede, John Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the coherence between ocean bottom pressure signals at the Rapid Climate Change programme (RAPID) West Atlantic Variability Experiment (WAVE) array on the western North Atlantic continental slope, including theWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution Line W. Highly coherent pressure signals propagate southwestward along the slope, at speeds in excess of 128 m s-1, consistent with expectations of barotropic Kelvin-like waves. Coherent signals are also evidenced in the smaller pressure differences relative to 1000-m depth, which are expected to be associated with depth-dependent basinwide meridional transport variations or an overturning circulation. These signals are coherent and almost in phase for all time scales from 3.6 years down to 3 months. Coherence is still seen at shorter time scales for which group delay estimates are consistent with a propagation speed of about 1 m s-1 over 990 km of continental slope butwith large error bounds on the speed. This is roughly consistent with expectations for propagation of coastally trapped waves, though somewhat slower than expected.Acomparison with both Eulerian currents and Lagrangian floatmeasurements shows that the coherence is inconsistent with a propagation of signals by advection, except possibly on time scales longer than 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-765
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Coherence of western boundary pressure at the RAPID WAVE array: Boundary wave adjustments or deep western boundary current advection?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this