Modeling Studies of Wind and Thermohaline Forcing on the California Current System
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
Pagination or Media Count:
A high-resolution, multi-level, primitive equation model is initialized with climatological data to study the combined effects of wind and thermohaline forcing on the ocean circulation of the California Current System CCS. The ocean circulation is generated by the model using a combination of climatological wind stress and thermohaline forcing. In the first experiment, the effects of thermohaline forcing alone are evaluated, in the second experiment, previously conducted, the effects of wind forcing are isolated, while in the third experiment, the combined effects of wind and thermohaline forcing are looked at. The results from the combined experiment show that even though the effects of wind forcing dominate the CCS, the additional effects of the thermohaline forcing results in the following the seasonal development of a poleward surface current and an equatorward undercurrent in the poleward end of the model region an onshore geostrophic component, which results in a temperature front and stronger surface and subsurface currents between Cape Mendocino and Point Arena and a region of maximum eddy kinetic energy inshore of tilde 125 deg W between Cape Mendocino and Point Arena, associated with the temperature front. These model simulations are qualitatively similar to recent hydrographic, altimetric, drifter, and moored observations of the CCS.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Fluid Mechanics