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Free Content The effect of current-induced stress perturbation in a coupled atmosphere-ocean model

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In the presence of surface currents, a stress perturbation at the air-sea interface is induced by the surface currents. It is directly correlated to the surface current pattern, and thus causes a feed-back effect in the sea-air system. This effect is studied for an equatorial sea-air system of the geometry of the equatorial Pacific Ocean by using a simple coupled atmosphere-ocean model. It is shown that the effect of the current-induced stress perturbation appears as a damping mechanism for the ocean circulation in general. However, in the presence of a zonally-asymmetric surface wind field, the stress perturbation associated with the zonal-mean current creates an opposing perturbation current. As a result, in the presence of a westward zonal-mean current, the eastward component of the perturbation current is enhanced by the current-induced stress perturbation. In a coupled sea-air system, both the damping and the forcing mechanisms associated with the current-induced stress perturbation can significantly influence the coupling strength, and hence influence the behavior of the coupled modes.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1994-03-01

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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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