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Free Content Wind-driven barotropic gyre I: Circulation control by eddy vorticity fluxes to an enhanced removal region

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Abstract:

It is well known that the barotropic, wind-driven, single-gyre ocean model reaches an inertially-dominated equilibrium with unrealistic circulation strength when the explicit viscosity is reduced to realistically low values. It is shown here that the overall circulation strength can be controlled nonlocally by retaining thin regions of enhanced viscosity parameterizing the effects of increased mixing and topographic interaction near the boundaries. The control is possible even when the inertial boundary layer width is larger than the enhanced viscosity region, as eddy fluxes of vorticity from the interior transport vorticity across the mean streamlines of the inertial boundary current to the frictional region. In relatively inviscid calculations the eddies are the major means of flux across interior mean streamlines.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1357/002224004774201681

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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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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