nerc.ac.uk

Reconstructing the meridional overturning circulation from boundary densities and the zonal wind stress

Hirschi, J.; Marotzke, J.. 2007 Reconstructing the meridional overturning circulation from boundary densities and the zonal wind stress. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 37 (3). 743-763. 10.1175/JPO3019.1

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract/Summary

Numerical models are used to test whether the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) can be reconstructed from boundary densities and the wind stress. In idealized model setups without topography the strength as well as the temporal and spatial variability of the MOC cell can largely be reproduced from boundary densities and the zonal wind stress. With added slopes along the meridional boundaries, most of the depth-averaged flow is missed and neither strength nor spatial structure of the MOC is well reproduced. However, the temporal evolution of both MOC and its estimate are similar. In an eddy-permitting model with realistic bottom topography the contribution of the depth-averaged meridional flow to the MOC is captured at some places while it is missed at others. Nevertheless, boundary densities and the zonal wind stress allow the leading modes of the temporal and spatial MOC variability to be reproduced. On seasonal time scales most of the MOC variability is due to the wind stress but changes in the boundary density affect the MOC as well. On interannual time scales the MOC variability largely reflects changes in the boundary density. Generally, the MOC reconstructions are accurate when bottom velocities are small, an assumption made in the reconstruction approach. The results are relevant for estimates of both the modern and the past MOC. In the real ocean, boundary densities can be obtained from measurements of temperature, conductivity, and pressure in the water column, whereas past seawater densities have left their imprint in sea sediments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1175/JPO3019.1
ISSN: 0022-3670
Date made live: 12 Feb 2007 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/144072

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...