Thumbnail
Access Restriction
Open

Author Miller, J. L. ♦ Lee, T. N.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES ♦ SOUTH ATLANTIC BIGHT ♦ OCEANIC CIRCULATION ♦ GULF STREAM ♦ VARIATIONS
Abstract As the Gulf Stream flows along the outer edge of the southeastern United States` continental shelf, it meanders on and offshore, creating frontal eddies which influence the exchange of water between the shelf and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean on weekly timescales. The dynamics controlling the development of such features in this region, the {open_quotes}South Atlantic Bight{close_quotes} or SAB, is the subject of this pair of papers. In the present paper the authors provide the background on the subject, summarize the length, time, and velocity scales associated with these features, and discuss meander energetics as simulated by a numerical model. The scaling indicates that significant ageostgrophic dynamics may be crucial to the development of these flows and that the semigeostrophic equations may provide the simplest description of the system. These nonlinear dynamics may permit complex interactions among meander modes and with topography resulting in the observed behavior of the Gulf Stream in the SAB. The Princeton Ocean Model was tuned for conditions which prevail in the southern South Atlantic Bight, and idealized numerical simulations of Gulf Stream meanders and associated frontal eddies were performed. The system was found to be sensitive to both the amplitude and period of a small perturbation applied at the southern boundary. The energetics indicate that the development of these features is controlled by a mixture of both baroclinic and barotropic instabilities of the mean Gulf Stream flow. Tantalizing hints of a period-doubling phenomenon are present in the energy conversion time series. 47 refs., 12 figs., 4 tabs.
ISSN 01480227
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1995-04-15
Publisher Place United States
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume Number 100
Issue Number C4


Open content in new tab

   Open content in new tab