Dynamic adjustment of the ocean circulation to self-attraction and loading effects

Vinogradova, Nadya T.; Ponte, Rui M.; Quinn, Katherine J.; Tamisiea, Mark E.; Campin, Jean-Michel; Davis, James L.. 2015 Dynamic adjustment of the ocean circulation to self-attraction and loading effects. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45 (3). 678-689.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
jpo-d-14-0150%2E1_Vindogradova.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview


The oceanic response to surface loading, such as that related to atmospheric pressure, freshwater exchange, and changes in the gravity field, is essential to our understanding of sea level variability. In particular, so-called self-attraction and loading (SAL) effects caused by the redistribution of mass within the land–atmosphere–ocean system can have a measurable impact on sea level. In this study, the nature of SAL-induced variability in sea level is examined in terms of its equilibrium (static) and nonequilibrium (dynamic) components, using a general circulation model that implicitly includes the physics of SAL. The additional SAL forcing is derived by decomposing ocean mass anomalies into spherical harmonics and then applying Love numbers to infer associated crustal displacements and gravitational shifts. This implementation of SAL physics incurs only a relatively small computational cost. Effects of SAL on sea level amount to about 10% of the applied surface loading on average but depend strongly on location. The dynamic component exhibits large-scale basinwide patterns, with considerable contributions from subweekly time scales. Departures from equilibrium decrease toward longer time scales but are not totally negligible in many places. Ocean modeling studies should benefit from using a dynamical implementation of SAL as used here.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0022-3670
Additional Keywords: Circulation/ Dynamics, Ocean dynamics, Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena, Sea level, Models and modeling, General circulation models
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 09 Apr 2015 15:00 +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...