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Free Content Time-dependent motions and the nonlinear bottom Ekman layer

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Abstract:

The laminar bottom Ekman layer beneath a flow with finite relative vorticity is studied. First, the case with only a steady interior shear flow is reviewed, and then a case with a spatially uniform oscillating flow is superimposed. In both cases, the problem can be reduced to solving ordinary differential equations. The competition of two effects governs the results. The interior vorticity effectively modifies the rotation rate, but advection (especially vertically, due to Ekman pumping) tends to counteract the vorticity modification. Vertical advection keeps the time-dependent boundary layer well behaved for negative interior vorticities, but a boundary layer singularity can still exist at a single superinertial frequency when interior relative vorticity is positive.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1357/0022240973224265

Publication date: July 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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