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Circulation, exchange and water masses at the ocean margin: the role of physical processes at the shelf edge

Huthnance, J.M.. 1995 Circulation, exchange and water masses at the ocean margin: the role of physical processes at the shelf edge. Progress In Oceanography, 35 (4). 353-431. 10.1016/0079-6611(95)00012-6

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Abstract/Summary

The coastal ocean meets the deep sea at the continental shelf edge. Questions of global change entail elucidation of the processes that determine the quantities, transformation and fate of materials transported between the shelf and ocean, the measurement and definition of exchange processes, and the development of prognostic models of exchanges.Physical processes control the large-scale movement and irreversible small-scale mixing of water and its constituents. At the shelf edge, steep bathymetry may inhibit ocean-shelf exchange, but in combination with stratification gives rise to special processes and modelling challenges.A preliminary assessment is made of coastal-trapped waves; along-slope currents, instability and meanders; eddies; upwelling, fronts and filaments; downwelling, cascading; tides, surges; internal tides and waves as potentially influential processes in ocean-shelf exchange, water-mass structure and general circulation, according to their scales and context. For this purpose, theory and previous measurements are interpreted.Future studies needed to improve this assessment are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/0079-6611(95)00012-6
Programmes: POL Programmes
ISSN: 00796611
Date made live: 01 Jul 2013 14:28 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/502467

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