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Free Content Observations of fronts in the North Sea

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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.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1987

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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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