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Free Content Relative angular momentum balances of quasi-geostrophic circulation models

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Calculations of the local vertical component of relative angular momentum are considered for quasi-geostrophic circulation models. The angular momentum diagnostic measures the net horizontal spin of the flow within an ocean basin and complements traditional budgets of energy, vorticity and linear momentum. In particular, the diagnostic can help identify the role of bottom topographic stresses in driving ocean circulation. Calculations of torque balances are presented for several numerical experiments with single-layer and multi-layer models. Experiments with an idealized continental slope topography develop a cyclonic circulation in the abyssal layer which is driven by a significant topographic form torque.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1995-05-01

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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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