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Rectified flow in a stratified coastal ocean

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An idealized numerical model is used to explore the generation of mean flows by oscillating wind forcing in a stratified coastal ocean with no alongshore variability, i.e., where neither barotropic nor baroclinic instability is a factor. On the inner shelf, where surface-to-bottom mixing occurs, a mean cross-shelf flow develops, as examined by Castelao et al. (2010), and the present results suggest that this flow can remain two-dimensional if there is a nonzero cross-shelf density gradient. Offshore of the inner shelf, where the water column is stratified, a mean alongshore flow develops in the direction opposite to coastal-trapped wave propagation. This flow is associated with cross-shelf density gradients that are set up by the asymmetry between onshore and offshore flow in the bottom boundary layer. Both forms of rectified flow (cross-shelf and alongshore) are sensitive to the presence of surface heating, and the rectifications can be readily masked by the effect of a steady alongshore wind stress.
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Keywords: CONTINENTAL SHELF; RECTIFIED FLOW; WIND FORCING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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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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