Circulation in the Vicinity of Descending Overflows
Final rept. 1 Jan 1999-31 Dec 2000
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION MA
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Analytic and numerical models have been used to study the large-scale circulation and exchange between marginal seas and the open ocean resulting from diapycnal mixing near lateral boundaries. The results indicate that mixing near topography can force strong circulations far from the region of mixing, sometimes extending into an adjacent ocean basin. The exchange between marginal seas and the open ocean will be strongly dependent on whether the marginal sea is connected to the open ocean by one strait e.g., the Mediterranean Sea or by two or more straits e.g., the Sea of Japan. Islands and ridges generally provide a very effective means for communication and exchange between adjacent ocean basins. Spatially variable mixing over even a very weakly sloping bottom results in a fundamentally different horizontal circulation than does mixing over a flat bottom.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography