Advanced Search
DSpace@MIT

Eddy-Mean Flow interactions in the Along-Stream Development of a Western Boundary Current Jet: An Idealized Model Study

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Waterman, Stephanie
dc.contributor.author Jayne, Steven R.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-11-09T21:24:20Z
dc.date.available 2011-11-09T21:24:20Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12
dc.date.submitted 2010-04
dc.identifier.issn 0022-3670
dc.identifier.issn 1520-0485
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/66986
dc.description.abstract A theoretical study on the role of eddy-mean flow interactions in the time-mean dynamics of a zonally evolving, unstable, strongly inertial jet in a configuration and parameter regime that is relevant to oceanic western boundary current (WBC) jets is described. Progress is made by diagnosing the eddy effect on the time-mean circulation, examining the mechanism that permits the eddies to drive the time-mean recirculation gyres, and exploring the dependence of the eddy effect on system parameters. It is found that the nature of the eddy-mean flow interactions in this idealized configuration is critically dependent on along-stream position, in particular relative to the along-stream evolving stability properties of the time-mean jet. Just after separation from the western boundary, eddies act to stabilize the jet through downgradient fluxes of potential vorticity (PV). Downstream of where the time-mean jet has (through the effect of the eddies) been stabilized, eddies act to drive the time-mean recirculations through the mechanism of an upgradient PV flux. This upgradient flux is permitted by an eddy enstrophy convergence downstream of jet stabilization, which results from the generation of eddies in the upstream region where the jet is unstable, the advection of that eddy activity along stream by the jet, and the dissipation of the eddies in the region downstream of jet stabilization. It is in this region of eddy decay that eddies drive the time-mean recirculations through the mechanism of nonlinear eddy rectification, resulting from the radiation of waves from a localized region. It is found that similar mechanisms operate in both barotropic and baroclinic configurations, although differences in the background PV gradient on which the eddies act implies that the recirculation-driving mechanism is more effective in the baroclinic case. This study highlights the important roles that eddies play in the idealized WBC jet dynamics considered here of stabilizing the jet and driving the flanking recirculations. In the absence of eddy terms, the magnitude of the upper-ocean jet transport would be significantly less and the abyssal ocean recirculations (and their significant enhancement to the jet transport) would be missing altogether. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation (U.S.) (Grant OCE-0825550) en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation (U.S.) (Grant OCE-0220161) en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation (U.S.) (Grant OCE-0849808) en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Henry Houghton Fund en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher © 2011 American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010jpo4477.1 en_US
dc.rights Article is made available in accordance with the publisher's policy and may be subject to US copyright law. Please refer to the publisher's site for terms of use. en_US
dc.source AMS en_US
dc.title Eddy-Mean Flow interactions in the Along-Stream Development of a Western Boundary Current Jet: An Idealized Model Study en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.citation Waterman, Stephanie, and Steven R. Jayne. “Eddy-Mean Flow Interactions in the Along-Stream Development of a Western Boundary Current Jet: An Idealized Model Study.” Journal of Physical Oceanography 41 (2011): 682-707. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. © 2011 American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.contributor.department Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering en_US
dc.contributor.department Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution en_US
dc.contributor.approver Waterman, Stephanie
dc.contributor.mitauthor Waterman, Stephanie
dc.relation.journal Journal of Physical Oceanography en_US
dc.identifier.mitlicense PUBLISHER_POLICY en_US
dc.eprint.version Final published version en_US
dc.type.uri http://purl.org/eprint/type/JournalArticle en_US
eprint.status http://purl.org/eprint/status/PeerReviewed en_US
dspace.orderedauthors Waterman, Stephanie; Jayne, Steven R. en


Files in this item

Name Size Format
Downloadable Full Text - PDF

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Open Access