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Forcing of the overturning circulation across a circumpolar channel by internal wave breaking

Broadbridge, Maria B.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Nurser, A.J. George. 2016 Forcing of the overturning circulation across a circumpolar channel by internal wave breaking. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121 (8). 5436-5451. 10.1002/2015JC011597

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Accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. © 2016 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.
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Abstract/Summary

The hypothesis that the impingement of mesoscale eddy flows on small-scale topography regulates diapycnal mixing and meridional overturning across the deep Southern Ocean is assessed in an idealised model. The model simulates an eddying circumpolar current coupled to a double-celled meridional overturning with properties broadly resembling those of the Southern Ocean circulation, and represents lee wave-induced diapycnal mixing using an online formulation grounded on wave radiation theory. The diapycnal mixing generated by the simulated eddy field is found to play a major role in sustaining the lower overturning cell in the model, and to underpin a significant sensitivity of this cell to wind forcing. The vertical structure of lower overturning is set by mesoscale eddies, which propagate the effects of near-bottom diapycnal mixing by displacing isopycnals vertically.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2015JC011597
ISSN: 21699275
Additional Keywords: Southern Ocean overturning; ocean dynamics; ocean models; internal lee waves; diapycnal mixing; subgrid-scale processes
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 28 Jun 2016 09:20 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513884

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