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Free Content Lateral entrainment in baroclinic currents II

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The strong mesoscale velocity fluctuations (“eddies”) observed in the deep Gulf Stream region may be dynamically necessary to incorporate the Recirculation Gyres which account for the downstream increase in transport. The eddy-current interaction leading to entrainment is studied in a two layer quasi-geostrophic model with piecewise uniform potential vorticity. It is shown that the volume entrained by a bottom eddy of strength Γ*2 initially located near the edge of a bottom current depends mainly on the lateral shear s2 of this current, rather than on the much stronger shear of the upper layer. It is suggested that the “mean entrainment velocity” into an isopycnal layer of nearly uniform vertical thickness is proportional to (Γ*2s2)1/2, where Γ*2 (cm2/sec) is proportional to the integrated potential vorticity anomaly of the eddy.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1995

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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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