Observations of fronts in the North Sea
The persistent presence of a cold bottom layer and associated bottom fronts was observed in the stratified central North Sea during an observational program in 1981 and 1982. Moored instruments, capturing a snap-shot of such a front while it was advected past these moorings, revealed the simultaneous presence of a well-defined frontal jet with velocities up to 15 cm s−1. The Coriolis force acting on this jet appeared to be in geostrophic balance with the locally intense pressure gradient forces. Hydrographic surveys revealed the presence of both small-scale and large-scale baroclinic waves on this front, the latter reaching wavelengths of 5–10 internal Ross by radii. Some evidence for a weak secondary circulation in the cross-frontal plane was obtained from the observed deformation of isolines near the front.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 August 1987
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