Bottom dissipation of subinertial currents at the Atlantic zonal boundaries: ATLANTIC ZONAL SUBINERTIAL DISSIPATION

C. J. Wright, R. B. Scott, B. K. Arbic, D. F. Furnival

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Estimates of the dissipation of subinertial currents due to bottom boundary layer drag at the eastern and western boundaries of the North Atlantic ocean, between 15 N and 60 N, are computed using data from the world's largest archive of ocean current meter time series. We show from these data that a significant proportion of such loss in this region is due to dissipation at the western boundary ocean floor via quadratic bottom boundary layer drag, with an estimated 40–60% (31–47 GW) of the wind input power across the whole basin dissipated by this method. We further show that the majority of this dissipation occurs at shallow depths, <500 m; this has significant implications for the power available for abyssal mixing.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC03049
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume117
Issue numberC3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

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