Compensation between meridional flow components of the Atlantic MOC at 26°N

Frajka-Williams, E.; Meinen, C.S.; Johns, W.E.; Smeed, D.A.; Duchez, A.; Lawrence, A.J.; Cuthbertson, D.A.; McCarthy, G.D.; Bryden, H.L.; Baringer, M.O.; Moat, B.I.; Rayner, D.. 2016 Compensation between meridional flow components of the Atlantic MOC at 26°N. Ocean Science, 12 (2). 481-493.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access paper)
os-12-481-2016.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (785kB) | Preview


From ten years of observations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) at 26° N (2004–2014), we revisit the question of flow compensation between components of the circulation. Contrasting with early results from the observations, transport variations of the Florida Current (FC) and upper mid-ocean (UMO) transports (top 1000 m east of the Bahamas) are now found to compensate on sub-annual timescales. The observed compensation between the FC and UMO transports is associated with horizontal circulation and means that this part of the correlated variability does not project onto the MOC. A deep baroclinic response to wind-forcing (Ekman transport) is also found in the lower North Atlantic Deep Water (LNADW; 3000–5000 m) transport. In contrast, co-variability between Ekman and the LNADW transports does contribute to overturning. On longer timescales, the southward UMO transport has continued to strengthen, resulting in a continued decline of the MOC. Most of this interannual variability of the MOC can be traced to changes in isopycnal displacements on the western boundary, within the top 1000 m and below 2000 m. Substantial trends are observed in isopycnal displacements in the deep ocean, underscoring the importance of deep boundary measurements to capture the variability of the Atlantic MOC.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1812-0792
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 04 Apr 2016 10:32 +0 (UTC)

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...