Test of a method for monitoring the geostrophic meridional overturning circulation using only boundary measurements

Chris W. Hughes, Shane Elipot, Miguel Ángel Morales Maqueda, John W. Loder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measurements of ocean bottom pressure, particularly on the continental slope, make an efficient means of monitoring large-scale integrals of the ocean circulation. However, direct pressure measurements are limited to monitoring relatively short time scales (compared to the deployment period) because of problems with sensor drift.Measurements are used fromthe northwestAtlantic continental slope, as part of theRapid Climate Change (RAPID)-West Atlantic Variability Experiment, to demonstrate that the drift problem can be overcome by using near-boundary measurements of density and velocity to reconstruct bottompressure differences with accuracy better than 1 cm of water (100 Pa). This accuracy permits the measurement of changes in the zonally integrated flow, below and relative to 1100 m, to an accuracy of 1 Sv (1 Sv( 106 m3 s-1) or better. Thetechnique employs the "steppingmethod," a generalization of hydrostatic balance for sloping paths that uses geostrophic current measurements to reconstruct the horizontal component of the pressure gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-809
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bottom currents
  • Continental shelf/slope
  • In situ oceanic observations
  • Mass fluxes/transport
  • Meridional overturning circulation
  • North atlantic ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Test of a method for monitoring the geostrophic meridional overturning circulation using only boundary measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this