Impact of wind forcing, bottom topography, and inertia on midlatitude jet separation in a quasigeostrophic model

Tamay M Ozgokmen, Eric P. Chassignet, Afonso M. Paiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The persistence of unrealistic Gulf Stream separation in numerical models of the ocean has prompted many theories about possible mechanisms that influence the separation of a western boundary current from the coast. In this paper, the joint effects of (a) coastline orientation, (b) bottom topography, and (c) inertia on the midlatitude jet separation are explored in a wind-driven two-layer quasigeostrophic model. It is shown that topographic effects are of importance in high eddy activity regions and that eddy-topography interactions strongly influence the separation process. In order for the western boundary current to separate from the coastline and cross the f/h contours associated with the continental rise, eddy fluctuations need to be weak at the separation point. This can be achieved either by introducing a positive wind stress curl in the northern part of the domain or by increasing the inertia of the western boundary current. In both cases, the separation is facilitated by low eddy activity, resulting in a decoupling of the upper layer from the lower layer when the current crosses the f/h contours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2460-2476
Number of pages17
JournalJ. PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
Volume27
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

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bottom topography
wind forcing
inertia
western boundary current
eddy
coast
continental rise
topographic effect
wind stress
persistence
topography
ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

Cite this

Impact of wind forcing, bottom topography, and inertia on midlatitude jet separation in a quasigeostrophic model. / Ozgokmen, Tamay M; Chassignet, Eric P.; Paiva, Afonso M.

In: J. PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY, Vol. 27, No. 11, 11.1997, p. 2460-2476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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