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Free Content Structure of an inertial deep western boundary current

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An inertial model of the deep western boundary current (DWBC) is presented where the cross-stream distribution of potential vorticity varies in a realistic fashion. The case of uniform potential vorticity, which has been solved earlier, is included for comparison. The potential vorticity distribution used in the model is obtained from a hydrographic density section across the North Atlantic DWBC. The model solutions using this distribution differ significantly from the uniform potential vorticity case. Most notably the current is wider and weaker with substantially reduced relative vorticity, more indicative of observed DWBCs. The addition of an exponential continental slope leads to a further constraint on the existence of the current. Finally, it is demonstrated how a topographic ridge can partially block the DWBC and give rise to recirculation of the deepest water, reminiscent of the deep flow near the Southeast Newfoundland Rise in the North Atlantic.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 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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