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Free Content Eddy formation on a continental slope

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Abstract:

We consider a uniform-density ocean in which the depth-independent horizontal velocity is driven by a two-gyre wind. Numerical solutions of the governing vorticity equation reveal that the solutions with a flat ocean bottom differ greatly from those in which a continental shelf and slope are present along the western boundary. In the ocean basin with a western continental shelf, steady inertial circulations readily lose stability to unsteady inertial circulations that spawn eddies. However, eddies do not form in the corresponding solutions for the flat-bottom ocean. Reducing the friction leads to flat-bottom solutions that shed eddies far offshore, but still differ significantly from the corresponding continental-slope solutions, where eddies pinch off near the western boundary.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1357/0022240973224418

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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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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