Mesoscale Variability in the Labrador Sea
Final rept. 1 Oct 97-30 Sep 98
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA
Pagination or Media Count:
The objective of this study was to understand the interaction between deep convection in the Labrador Sea and mesoscale eddies, in order to quantify the influence of convective events on the large-scale circulation. Three- dimensional non-hydrostatic numerical simulations were used to examine the response of individual eddies and groups of mesoscale eddies to surface cooling and convection. The mesoscale eddies are destabilized by the convective mixing, and break up into smaller eddies. A vigorous horizontal velocity field develops, which serves to efficiently stir the water, except for isolated eddy cores. The interleaving associated with the eddies gives rise to significant density-compensated variability in the tracer fields. The statistics of fields observed by isobaric floats are significantly affected by the eddy dynamics. Many of these features are also found in recent observations from the Labrador Sea.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography