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Free Content Time scales and structure of topographic Rossby waves and meanders in the deep Gulf Stream

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During July–November 1982, current and temperature records were collected from six current meters spanning the lower 2000 m of the water column on two moorings in the Gulf Stream northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Frequency domain EOF analysis of the velocity cross-spectra reveals that there are two kinematically distinct wave processes present in the subinertial range, identifiable as topographic Rossby wave and meander-associated motions, which are energetically dominant at periods longer than and shorter than 14 days, respectively.

Simultaneous thermocline depth measurements obtained using inverted echo sounders show that the low-frequency topographic Rossby wave motions are uncoupled with near-surface displacements of the Gulf Stream path, but that cross-stream velocity fluctuations in the 14-day and 5-day period bands are associated with vertically coherent meanders of the Gulf Stream temperature front.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1986-05-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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