Interannual Sea Level Variability Along the Southeastern Seaboard of the United States in Relation to the Gyre-Scale Heat Divergence in the North Atlantic

Denis L. Volkov, Sang Ki Lee, Ricardo Domingues, Hong Zhang, Marlos Goes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The low-amplitude, large-scale, interannual, and longer-term sea level changes are linked to the variations of ocean heat and freshwater content and strongly controlled by ocean dynamics. Near the coast, especially in low-lying and flood-vulnerable regions, these changes can provide background conditions favorable for the occurrence of extreme sea levels that represent a threat for coastal communities and ecosystems. In this study, we identify a tripole mode of the ocean gyre-scale sea surface height variability in the North Atlantic and show that this mode is responsible for most of the interannual-to-decadal sea surface height changes along the southeast coast of the United States, including the Gulf of Mexico. We also show that these changes are largely driven by the large-scale heat divergence related to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and linked to the low-frequency North Atlantic Oscillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7481-7490
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2019

Keywords

  • Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
  • North Atlantic Oscillation
  • North Atlantic SSH tripole
  • U.S. coastal sea level
  • heat divergence
  • regional sea level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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