Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Inertial gyre solutions from a primitive equation ocean model

Download Article:
(PDF 1,541 kb)
A numerical exploration of inertial equilibrium states obtained with a primitive equation ocean model suggests that they can be described using statistical mechanics theory developed in the framework of quasi-geostrophy. The performance of the numerical model is first assessed with respect to the quasi-geostrophic model considering a series of experiments in the quasi-geostrophic range, in a closed basin with flat bottom and varying Rossby numbers. The results show that our model is consistent with the quasi-geostrophic model even in terms of dependence from boundary conditions and eddy viscosity values, and that the free surface contribution is negligible. As in the quasi-geostrophic experiments, a tendency toward Fofonoff flows is observed. This tendency remains in a second series of experiments performed outside the quasi-geostrophic range, namely with flows with higher Rossby numbers and with steep topography, characterized by sloping boundaries with an order one fractional change in the depth. It is only close to the boundaries that ageostrophic effects modify the flows. In conclusion, the fact that statistical mechanics theory, initially developed in the framework of quasi-geostrophy, holds for more realistic flows with steep topography supports development of subgrid scale parameterizations based on statistical mechanics theory, to be used in realistic general circulation models.
No References for this article.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1996

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Purchase The Sea
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more