ATOC 5051

Introduction to Physical Oceanography, 2007

Assignment 5: Rivers in the Sea?

Choose a western boundary current in the ECCO dataset available as preprocessed netcdf in (I've regridded to eliminate staggered grids and time-averaged for you). Study its volume transport (via u and v) and return flow (via the Sverdrup relation). Time mean fields are fine, but you might want to check out the full set.

Quantitative aspects: Does the budget across a latitude line close? Is the flow at the surface or deep or throughout? Is there a northward heat flux implied by this flow?

That is, consider \int v dz. There are 3 ways to get at it:

  1. Sum up v delta z from ECCO velocities
  2. Sverdrup relation (\int v dz = curl(tau)/(rho beta) should agree in the interior, but not in the WBC
  3. Geostrophic relation (\int v dz = g H deta/dx / f), should agree across the region.
Qualititative aspects: How does the flow vary, what does it do?