Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation

Evans, Dafydd Gwyn ORCID:; Toole, John; Forget, Gael; Zika, Jan D.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Nurser, A. J. George; Yu, Lisan. 2017 Recent wind-driven variability in Atlantic water mass distribution and meridional overturning circulation. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 47 (3). 633-647.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access papher)
© Copyright 2017 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at ( or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or
JPO-D-16-0089.1.pdf - Published Version

Download (3MB) | Preview
© 2017 American Meterological Society. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
JPO_AMOC_wind_var.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (3MB) | Preview


Interannual variability in the volumetric water mass distribution within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre is described in relation to variability in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The relative roles of diabatic and adiabatic processes in the volume and heat budgets of the subtropical gyre are investigated by projecting data into temperature coordinates as volumes of water using an Argo based climatology and an ocean state estimate (ECCO v4). This highlights that variations in the subtropical gyre volume budget are predominantly set by transport divergence in the gyre. A strong correlation between the volume anomaly due to transport divergence and the variability of both thermocline depth and Ekman pumping over the gyre suggests that winddriven heave drives transport anomalies at the gyre boundaries. This winddriven heaving contributes significantly to variations in the heat content of the gyre, as do anomalies in the air–sea fluxes. The analysis presented suggests that wind forcing plays an important role in driving interannual variability in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, and that this variability can be unraveled from spatially-distributed hydrographic observations using the framework presented here.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0022-3670
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 30 Jan 2017 09:43 +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...