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Free Content Models of abyssal flow in basins separated by a mid-ocean ridge

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Numerical and laboratory models have been used to study source-driven flows in a system consisting of two basins (with sloping sidewalls) separated by a mid-ocean ridge. Numerical spin-up occurs via topographically modified Kelvin waves which propagate away from the source region around the outer perimeter of the model ocean. Energy is then carried along the ridge by topographic waves and westward by planetary waves. The resulting flow eventually concentrates in strong cyclonic circulation patterns, defined by regions of closed geostrophic contours in the lower latitude portion of each basin. When the deep water source is located at the latitude of closed geostrophic contours, there is no significant flow outside the closed contours. However, when it is located further toward polar regions, strong flow is evident up to the source latitude. There is a close correspondence with the laboratory model when similarity conditions are satisfied. One notable difference was a higher level of wave and eddy activity in the laboratory, particularly near the border between closed and blocked contour regions.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1992

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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