Analysis of Eddy Resolving Model of the California Current System
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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A high-resolution, multi-level, primitive equation ocean model is used to investigate the combined role of seasonal wind forcing, thermohaline gradients, and coastline irregularities on the formation of currents, meanders, eddies, and filaments in the California Current System from 22.5 deg N to 47.5 deg N. An investigation of the dynamical reasons for the generation and growth of meanders and eddies is conducted along with a sensitivity study to investigate the formation of the Davidson Current. Model results are consistent with the generation of eddies from instabilities of the equatorward current and poleward undercurrent via barotropic and baroclinic instability processes. The meandering equatorward jet south of Cape Blanco is shown to be a continuous feature, which divides coastally-influenced water from water of offshore origin. The area off southern Baja is shown to be a highly dynamic environment for meanders, filaments, and eddies, while the area off Point Eugenia is shown to be a persistent cyclonic eddy generation region. Both the Southern California Countercurrent rounding Point Conception and the shoaling of the poleward undercurrent are shown to play important roles in generating the Davidson Current in the fall.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography