Download The Oceanic Thermohaline Circulation: An Introduction by Hendrik M. van Aken PDF

By Hendrik M. van Aken

This ebook offers a world hydrographic description of the thermohaline stream, an creation to the theoretical points of this phenomenon, and observational facts for the speculation. The hydrographic description and the observational facts are in accordance with facts resources, on hand through net, customarily from the area Oceanographic test (WOCE). With the hydrographic description and observational proof additionally comes an creation to hydrographic research and interpretation.

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The isobars are shown as thin lines, with pressure increasing from P1 to P5. The Coriolis parameter f equals zero at the equator. There the geostrophic balance no longer can be applied. The dynamic modeling of crossequatorial flow requires knowledge of frictional forces and nonlinear acceleration terms. 9. Friction and transport As described above, friction in the ocean allows velocities and mass transport in a direction other than parallel to the isobars, contrary to the geostrophic balance. In the ocean friction plays a role in the near-surface layer due to wind forcing and in the bottom layer due to the flow over a nonmoving rough bottom.

For instance, over the East Greenland Slope where very cold water enters the North Atlantic between Greenland and Iceland, the neargeostrophic velocity over the bottom reaches values of 25 to 50 cm/s (Dickson and Brown 1994). There the cross-isobaric Ekman transport will induce a downslope transport into the deep Atlantic Ocean. 10. Vertical motion and mass conservation The vertical momentum budget is approximated quite accurately by the hydrostatic equilibrium presented in Eq. 1), where the vertical velocity component of the THC, w, does not play any role.

If we follow, in an xz section, the pressure change from a point a on the P isobar, horizontally over a distance 'x via b and then vertically 'z upward to point c again on the P isobar (Fig. 7), we find the following equality: wP wP 'z 'x  wz wx 0 . 13) The ratio 'z/'x equals the slope of the P isobar in the limit of vanishing 'x. Combining Eqs. 1) then leads to ax g wz wx . 8. Geostrophic and near-geostrophic flow 35 So the horizontal acceleration due to the presence of a pressure gradient is proportional to the slope of the isopycnals.

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