Topographical torques in wind-driven basin and channel models

Hughes, C.; Jackson, L.; Williams, R.. 2006 Topographical torques in wind-driven basin and channel models. [Other] In: 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, 20-24 February 2006. OS16J-15 [abstract].

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Topography exerts a profound influence on the large-scale circulation of western boundary and circumpolar currents. Flow over variable topography generates topographical torques (bottom pressure torques) which can drive meridional flows and indirectly influence the internal structure. The role of topography, and in particular that of bottom pressure torques, on idealised, wind-driven gyre and channel models is investigated. In gyre models with sloping side-walls, the wind-driven transport is returned across latitude lines by bottom pressure torques, while friction is important in altering potential vorticity (PV) within an isopycnal layer and allowing a closed circulation. In the channel model zonal jets develop at latitudes where the topography does not reach the surface. Bottom pressure torques again drive meridional flows along topography. These bottom pressure torques return the wind-driven flow along western boundaries as in the gyre models, and can act to transfer vorticity from the wind-driven gyres into zonal jets. Through steering the depth-integrated flow, the topography influences the frictional torques in the layer, and hence the location and relative magnitudes of the PV sources. Differences in these sources can lead to regional differences in the homogenised PV

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Other)
Programmes: Oceans 2025 > Shelf and coastal processes
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 20 Oct 2008 10:57 +0 (UTC)

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