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

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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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water currents
Atlantic Ocean
Drag
dissipation
time series analysis
Boundary layers
benthic boundary layer
oceans
basins
Ocean currents
drag
boundary layers
ocean currents
Time series
proportion
seafloor
methodology
time series
estimates
basin

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Bottom dissipation of subinertial currents at the Atlantic zonal boundaries : ATLANTIC ZONAL SUBINERTIAL DISSIPATION. / Wright, C. J.; Scott, R. B.; Arbic, B. K.; Furnival, D. F.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 117, No. C3, C03049, 01.03.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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