Rotating Exchange Flow
NORTHWEST RESEARCH ASSOCIATES BOULDER CO COLORADO RESEARCH ASSOCIATES DIV
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Flow through ocean straits and channels helps set the water-mass properties of the larger basins at each end. The long-term goal of this research is an understanding of the roles that rotation and friction play in the transport and water-mass mixing of flows through oceanic straits, channels, and canyons. Ocean exchange flows that are wide or slow enough are subject to the Coriolis force owing to planetary rotation. Together with boundary and interfacial friction, the Coriolis force drives cross-channel, secondary circulations. Oceanic examples of channels in which observations have found the signature of the cross-channel circulations explored in this project include the exchange flows through the Vema and Faroe Bank channels. The short-term goals of this study were to understand the dynamics of these secondary circulations, particularly their influence on interfacial mixing in, and transport through, such straits.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography